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review 2020-01-29 18:12
Nice, Twisty Thriller
The Perfect Mother - Caroline Mitchell

It appears that Caroline Mitchell, author of the The Perfect Mother and other previous thrillers and works of psychological suspense, made a good decision when she switched from being CID to becoming a full-time author.   Her latest release is a tense and twisty novel that offers some good character development and solid plotting to counteract a small bit of predictability and repetition.  Roz is living in Dublin with her best friend when she discovers that she is pregnant after a secret one-night encounter. Roz feels unprepared to raise a child at this point in her young life, but is also unwilling to have an abortion due to her religious upbringing.  Faced with this dilemma, she explores an option unique to our modern economy- a website offering to anonymously connect wealthy couples with surrogates or those looking for adoption in return for extensive compensation.  Her roommate, Dympna, tries to dissuade her from following through with the arrangements, but Roz is dazzled by an offer that will have her pampered in NYC at the behest of a high-profile couple looking to pass off an unborn child as their own. She also believes that this is an incredible opportunity for her child to have the very best that life can offer. Roz is naïve but smarter than she first appears, and the reader may be initially frustrated by her actions but will come to respect her intuition and self-preservation skills. It is a little too late when Roz realizes that her circumstances are suspicious when she finds herself held captive by a celebrity couple who may have already performed some serious misdeeds in the past.  Their money and influence have bought the silence of those who abet their scheme, and the woman in the couple seems to be completely unhinged and controlling to the point of abuse.  Mitchell writes the character of Sheridan especially well.  She manages to be an obvious villain, but still evokes pity and has some surprising attributes and a rationale that rescue her from becoming a caricature.  Dympna is also a resourceful person in the story, providing the moral and rational voice that acts as the safety valve in the spiraling action. The novel is told primarily through Roz as the first-person narrator, with occasional guest chapters told from Sheridan and Dympna’s point of view. There are also cleverly placed excerpts from tabloid press “articles” that help flesh out the backstory of Sheridan and her superstar husband.  The reveal of the paternity of the baby is not as surprising as it was intended to be, and some of the “Americanisms” are a bit off, but these are forgivable in light of the rest of the book’s overall quality.   The Perfect Mother is not a perfect thriller, but it is an entertaining one- a solid choice that will delight those looking for an absorbing new read.

 

Thanks to the author, Thomas & Mercer (Amazon) and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

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review 2019-04-28 03:03
The Perfect Mother
The Perfect Mother - Aimee Molloy
As I listened to this audio, I was almost jealous of the May Mothers as they gathered together. The tie that bound these mothers together was the month that their babies were to be born in. Other than that, these were mothers/women who were committed to getting together with each other, to socialize. When its finally suggested that these women take a night out for themselves without their children, the novel really picks up.
 
Each May Mothers had their own agenda for their night out together. They’re finally getting some time to get to know each other personally, as the night starts to slip by. They’ve become a unit, these May Mothers. They’re no longer separate individuals but they’re united and they look out for one another as if they’ve been friends for years.
 
This casual, fun-filled night comes to a halt when one of the mother’s babies is reported missing. What!?! What happened? I loved how the characters flew into action. Comforting, questioning, pondering, and investigating when it seemed like the authorities weren’t doing enough.
 
I had a few ideas floating around in my head as the investigation was underway but the ending was a surprise to me. I hadn’t planned on that. I liked how the women came together and how their relationships evolved in the novel. This was more of a mystery novel to me than a thriller as I didn’t feel the intensity or any sinister feelings while listening to it. I did enjoy listening to it.

 

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review 2019-01-19 03:01
Perfect Mother
The Perfect Mother - Aimee Molloy,Cristin Milioti

A "May Mothers" group brought together by a Prospect-Park, Brooklyn-based website called "The Village" meets on a regular basis, usually in the park, to swap stories, share milestones, and commiserate on new motherhood.  The members' interactions began online, and expanded to real-life meet-ups.  The "May Mothers" signed up during pregnancy, and continued through the births and beyond.

 

In July, right around the time the babies are hitting the eight-week mark, some of the May moms plan a night out at a bar, without the babies, for a bit of fun. Single-mother Winnie is reluctant to participate, as she has no sitter, but group member Nell offers to lend her Alma, her nanny.

 

By the end of the night, Winnie's son Midas is missing. Earlier in the night, Nell had taken Winnie's phone--left behind on a table--and dropped it in her purse.  But the phone is nowhere to be found.  Winnie's house key had been tucked into a pocket attached to the back of the phone.  Did someone steal the phone and use the key?  And if so, who would do that?

 

Before long, the local news is obsessed with the missing "Baby Midas" story, and the other members of the "May Mothers" group are soon under the intense scrutiny of the media, crime blogs, and police.

 

I enjoyed this fast-paced narrative.  (Remember that *** = "good" for me; not "meh.")  I will say there were times when the lengths some of the "May Mothers" went to, in order to "help" with the case/insert themselves into the investigation strained credulity, and that is the one reason I didn't four-star this book.

 

Without giving anything away about the ending, I will say I did NOT see it coming.

 

Side note about the narration:  Cristin Milioti narrated the audiobook. In case you are doing exactly what I did--thinking "WHY do I know that name?"  Well, among other roles, she played the mother in How I Met My Mother.  I will add that she is an excellent narrator, and I would definitely make a point of listening to another book that she narrates.

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review 2018-09-28 00:00
The Perfect Mother
The Perfect Mother - Aimee Molloy Please see all of my reviews on my blog at www.robinlovesreading.blogspot.com.

Wow! What a read! Imagine a group of very young mothers who get together just to compare notes, pretty much. That is about it. Is my baby reaching the right milestones? Am I feeling like I am supposed to? What is your birth story? Questions like that are explored.

The women in this group, called The May Mothers, found each other online and get together twice weekly to explore these very topics and so much more. The problem is that they really do not go beyond the surface and don't really know one another all that well. This brings very heavy consequences when, after much cajoling, they agree to go out without the babies. They go to a fun bar, and before the night is out, one of their babies has disappeared from his crib.

While suspicion goes round and round, at least three of the women go about trying to find out their own answers. We have a rapid successions of many questions, with very few answers. As a reader, I certainly developed my own suspect, or suspects, depending on where I was reading the story. However, the conclusion is the ultimate shocker and really caught me off guard.

The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy is her very first novel! Wow! What a fantastic writer! She pens a captivating story. A true psychological thriller that most certainly keep you on the edge of my seat as I was. I loved being forced to make what I thought were intelligent guesses, yet being completely thrown off each time. It is always my pleasure when an author can do that to me! I so look forward to keeping my eyes out for any future books that Aimee Molloy pens. This book comes highly recommended. It is one not to be missed!

As mentioned above, this book has been adapted for a movie starring Kerry Washington. It should be a fantastic collaboration and is one I am most certainly looking forward to seeing.
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review 2018-09-28 00:00
The Perfect Mother
The Perfect Mother - Aimee Molloy Please see all of my reviews on my blog at www.robinlovesreading.blogspot.com.

Wow! What a read! Imagine a group of very young mothers who get together just to compare notes, pretty much. That is about it. Is my baby reaching the right milestones? Am I feeling like I am supposed to? What is your birth story? Questions like that are explored.

The women in this group, called The May Mothers, found each other online and get together twice weekly to explore these very topics and so much more. The problem is that they really do not go beyond the surface and don't really know one another all that well. This brings very heavy consequences when, after much cajoling, they agree to go out without the babies. They go to a fun bar, and before the night is out, one of their babies has disappeared from his crib.

While suspicion goes round and round, at least three of the women go about trying to find out their own answers. We have a rapid successions of many questions, with very few answers. As a reader, I certainly developed my own suspect, or suspects, depending on where I was reading the story. However, the conclusion is the ultimate shocker and really caught me off guard.

The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy is her very first novel! Wow! What a fantastic writer! She pens a captivating story. A true psychological thriller that most certainly keep you on the edge of my seat as I was. I loved being forced to make what I thought were intelligent guesses, yet being completely thrown off each time. It is always my pleasure when an author can do that to me! I so look forward to keeping my eyes out for any future books that Aimee Molloy pens. This book comes highly recommended. It is one not to be missed!

As mentioned above, this book has been adapted for a movie starring Kerry Washington. It should be a fantastic collaboration and is one I am most certainly looking forward to seeing.
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