When Sophia gets a late-night call from her mom asking her to come home, she does what she always does – puts it down to her mom’s usual erratic behaviour. Putting her mom off, she tells her she’s had too much to drink and will drive over the next day, which she duly does only to find her mom (Nina) dead and her dad seriously injured, with knife wounds to the stomach.
While her dad lies in a coma, unable to tell them what happened, the police rule Nina’s death a suicide – something Sophia can’t get her head around and can’t bring herself to believe. Her mom may have been many things, but suicidal is not one of them.
Things become even more confusing – and interesting – when a letter arrives from a publisher, confirming they will be publishing Nina’s book and asking when they’ll be sent the final chapters. Nina, Sophia discovers, has been writing her memoir and it’s much more interesting than anyone could have imagined. The question Sophia needs to answer though is was it interesting enough to kill Nina for?
After reading Dear Amy, I was really keen to read this latest book by Helen Callaghan and I am very pleased to say (especially after my last few reads) that I wasn’t disappointed at all. This is a cracking book, with plenty going on to keep you interested and lots of red herrings and wrong turns to have you wondering just where the truth lies.
Alternating between Sophia in the present and Nina in the past, the truth slowly reveals itself. I did have an inkling just what was coming about two-thirds of the way through but not enough to make me lose interest or want to give up. I liked both Sophia and Nina too much at this point to do that, finding them both strong women in their own ways and Nina especially fascinating. Her story is one that seemed so real, I could imagine it happening.
The other characters were perhaps not as well drawn, but that is a minor thing, and – if I’m honest – I only have one niggle, which is the way Sophia was with her job and the way the people she worked with behaved. It didn’t sit quite right with me and I’m not sure it was needed – if anything, it distracted me from the story and made me wonder if something else was going to happen because it kept coming up.
Overall, then, a really, really good read – one I would highly recommend and hope you enjoy.
About the book…
No-one is who you think they are
Sophia’s parents lead quiet, unremarkable lives. At least that is what she’s always believed.
Everyone has secrets
Until the day she arrives at her childhood home to find a house ringing with silence. Her mother is hanging from a tree. Her father is lying in a pool of his own blood, near to death.
Especially those closest to you
The police are convinced it is an attempted murder-suicide. But Sophia is sure that the woman who brought her up isn’t a killer. As her father is too ill to talk it is up to Sophia to clear her mother’s name. And to do this she needs to delve deep into her family’s past – a past full of dark secrets she never suspected were there . . .
What if your parents had been lying to you since the day you were born?
Publication date: 22nd February, 2018
Genre: Domestic thriller, psychological thriller
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Note: I received a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.