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The Wrong Mother (Spilling CID, #3)
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The Wrong Mother (Spilling CID #3)

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3.46 of 5 stars 3.46  ·  rating details  ·  4,600 ratings  ·  746 reviews
A chilling exploration of a mother's unspeakable betrayal from the author of Little Face
Sally Thorning is watching the news with her husband when she hears an unexpected name-Mark Bretherick. It's a name she shouldn't know, but last year Sally treated herself to a secret vacation-away from her hectic family life-and met a man. After their brief affair, the two planned to
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ebook, 432 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Penguin Books (first published 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Delee
I came across this series when I read a recommendation in a magazine for LASTING DAMAGE-the sixth book. At the time I thought LASTING DAMAGE was a stand alone novel so I went out, bought it, and then realized there were five books before it -I have this pesky problem of having to read books in the order they were written- so it took me awhile to track some of them down. NOW, it is not a problem because they have all be re-released -but a few years ago it meant ordering them online from different ...more
Sarah
The first fifth or so of this book was excellent - strong, unique voices and a perfect, slightly chilling tone to otherwise innocuous words. Then all sorts of little things came together to make the book dissatisfying. The cast of characters seemed too big for the author to handle, certainly too big for me to care about learning to distinguish them. There was one too many twist that seemed to come out of nowhere, while there was a really nicely laid foundation that wasn't used at all. And the bo ...more
Pam
This book was SO good for the first 40 pages. I've come to the conculsion that anyone can write the beginning of a book. But few can write a good book through to a good conclusion. Sophie Hannah's book The Good Mother had all of the right pieces in it - interesting main characters, a twisting plot, a surprise ending - but it was all lost in the endless parade of sub-characters and characters with nicknames. Hannah could not handle the large cast of characters, that much was clearly evident. Her ...more
Ellen
I was intrigued by the book's opening...a woman is shocked to read of the murder of a man she had a brief affair with, except the photo of the victim shows a completely different man. Understandably, she has to try to find out what is going on. But I thought it went downhill quickly. First of all, there wasn't a single character I either liked or identified with. The men are almost all selfish idiots or brutes, the women all narcissistic whiners with infanticidal tendencies (except for the one w ...more
Kate
Is Sophie Hannah a literary genius? Nah. But hey, all you haters — I invite you to try constructing a plot like this one: twisty, intricate, and relentlessly leave-'em-guessing. I was engrossed, and I admired this thriller all the way through. This story also hangs on some deliciously nerdy hinges: idioms, the way in which a native versus a non-native English speaker writes, and — be still my heart! — the perils of find/replace in MS Word.

The Wrong Mother will push buttons with mommies and the
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Dorsi
Apr 05, 2014 Dorsi rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves a great who the heck dunnit!
Wow, I loved this book. It had so many twists & turns it kept me on the edge of my seat. It had many surprises throughout. This was one complicated story. I know there's probably a lot I missed, so some time in the future, I plan to revisit it. I got a bit confused & lost from time to time as there were quite a few characters & aliases. This piece had to be difficult to write! The only thing that bogged it down at times was Geraldine's diary. I realize it was necessary for the storyl ...more
Shelley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michelle Will
I started out really enjoying this book. It was suspenseful and thought-provoking for any mother who has caught herself wishing bad things for her children. What is the point of no return and what would it take for you to get there? But, what the heck happened to the end of this book? It was as if someone else wrote it on their coffee break. What happened to Sally? Wasn't she the main character? So, she gets abducted and escapes from an insane psycho and just goes home and goes to bed? And why t ...more
Laurel-Rain
Whenever I finally thought I had it all figured out, the author threw another twist into the plot, until finally, as the intrigue seems to be falling into place, it knots itself up again.

A murder mystery, a psychological study—these elements are set against an almost comedic exploration of the police detectives assigned to the case to form a multilayered drama.

There is nothing ordinary about this tale that begins with an affair and ends in death. Whatever might seem to be a predictable scenari
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Berna
I really wanted to love this book. The premise held such promise - I was really excited to read it. There were several stumbling blocks for me with this book. The first one was cultural - even though the book was in English, it was not an American setting. I felt like there were a lot of customs and insider knowledge that I just did not have. As such, there was a lot of the book that I didn't quite understand. Secondly, there seemed to be too many characters. The plot line with the Charlie/Sam c ...more
Bridget

Sally had an affair. She was exhausted and in desperate need of a break. When her business trip was unexpectedly cancelled, she decided to get away anyway. She met Mark and their tryst began. They talked about lives they lead, about their work and about their families. When the vacation came to an end, the two parted ways thinking they would never see each other again.

One night while Sally and her husband are watching TV and to Sally's surprise, Mark's name comes up on the news. To her surprise,
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Marcia
If you like a good suspense novel with an original plot, you would like The Wrong Mother. A young mother, Sally, longing to escape the drudgery of every day life, has a week long affair with a man named Mark Bretherick. She ends up regretting her momentary lapse and is trying to put it from her mind when she hears the name again on the news. A Mark Bretherick's wife killed herself and her young daughter. The wife's name, address, child's name, etc. all match up with what Mark told Sally during t ...more
Caitlin
What an excellent thriller this was! I got it because it had a recommendation from Tana French on the back cover. French is one of my favorite new crime writers who managed to write an amazing first book and an even more amazing second book. I figured if she liked this one, I would, too. And I did!

This is one of those books that both excels past its genre and stays firmly in it. Hannah never breaks the rules of thriller in this book, but she expands the notion of what a writer of thrillers can d
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Elizabeth Salom (elistar)
copied and pasted from my book blog, www.ourfictionaddiction.com

This was our book club’s selection this month and, from the jacket, I thought it was going to be one of my favorites of the year. As I made my way through the beginning of the book, I thought it had a lot going for it – a premise that seemed interesting, a few unraveling mysteries, a possible murder-suicide-familicide and a narrator that had the potential to be a unique, empathetic voice.

But unfortunately, it never picked up from t
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Jennie
Usually, if I skip to the end of a book while I'm still reading it, it's for one of two reasons: either I'm so bored with the stupid thing I've decided to give up on the second half, or I'm so worried about a character that I need to check and see if he/she is still alive at the end, thus allowing me to get through the second half with relatively little anxiety.

This book falls into the latter category. I was so creeped out at one point that I was frozen for a minute, fighting with myself about s
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Sharyl
I grumbled through every page of this book, but I kept holding on to the idea that the initial premise of the book was intriguing enough to stick it out and see what happens. I've read books by British authors before, but consistently felt lost in Hannah's use of U.K. vernacular. Several times I almost wanted to ask out loud, "This book IS written in English, right?" There was virtually no character development to speak of and it was ridiculously difficult to keep the characters straight because ...more
Lorraine
The “Wrong Mother” is a psychological thriller, detective/mystery novel. I liked Sophie Hannah’s style of writing and the plot. I was captivated in the first chapter. Sally Thorning, a working mother, sees on the newscast that a mother and daughter have been killed and her husband, Mark Bretherick is talking about their deaths. There’s a catch here: Sally was supposed to speak at a conference some time back, but the conference was canceled. She is so exhausted from working and motherhood, that s ...more
Jax
I read this book but the title was "The point of rescue". I have to say I'm no fan of title changes as it causes confusion.

Anyway, I did enjoy it though I did feel it went on a bit and only livened up towards the last third. The story was good if somewhat confusing in parts until I grasped that the facts relating to one thing were actually those of another (trying not give too much away here so as not to spoil it for others). I didn't get how the detective came up with the solution either and th
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LG
Like other reviewers who couldn’t muster a third star for this murder mystery, I lost track of (and interest in) the characters as the plot thickened. Alongside the requisite red herrings (view spoiler), too many sardines, mackerels and cops cods were there, muddying the waters in which the author had strewn plenty of clues. I couldn’t keep them straight after three chapters, so then I started reading only the lines between quote marks. That ...more
Anne
I picked this book out because it was a recommendation on the Amazon page for my favorite discovery of the year (Still Missing by Chevy Stevens). I'm really glad I did. Unlike The Doctor's Wife, which was also a recommendation on that page, this novel is a taught thriller that held my attention and kept me guessing the whole way through.

Sally Thorning is a wife and mother who, while watching the evening news, discovers the wife and child of a man she had a brief fling with a year earlier have di
...more
Stevie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth Scott
I discovered Sophie Hannah late last year, when I read her second book, Hurting Distance, a thriller that scared and shook me to the point where I had to put the book down several times as I was reading. When I was done with it, I immediately ran out and bought Hannah's first novel, Little Face, which is way less scary but just as wonderfully thrilling.

The Point of Recuse is Sophie Hannah's third novel, and it's just getting ready to be released in the US in hardcover as The Wrong Mother--very s
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Jane
This is the fourth Sophie Hannah novel I have read; I started with the most recently published novel, Kind of Cruel, after hearing her discussing it on the radio. After I started reading it, I became aware that it was clearly the most recent instalment of a series about the Spilling CID team, so I decided to go back to the start and read the novels in order.

The Point of Rescue is the third novel in the series, and (not including Kind of Cruel)it is the first one that I have read where I have be
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Jan
A lot of good things about this novel—unusual premise, some interesting characters, including children, several twists, and a stunning ending. But I was bothered right away about how dumb Sally, the main character in the beginning, seemed to be. She sees a man on TV with the police whose wife apparently killed her daughter, then herself. And Sally thinks the man on TV isn’t the husband because she had an affair with a man who claimed to have the same name and same-named wife and daughter. No, sh ...more
Gina
Sally Thorning is watching the news with her husband when she hears a name she never thought she'd hear again: Mark Bretherick. Last year, a work trip Sally had planned was cancelled at the last minute. Desperate from a break from her busy job and young family, Sally doesn't tell her husband that the the trip was cancelled and treated herself to a secret vacation in a luxorious spa hotel. While she was there, Sally met a man, Mark Bretherick, and they had a weeklong affair that they had agreed t ...more
Katherine
I had read a previous book by this author, Little Face, which I found to be pretty well-written. I liked the premise of Little Face -- a new mum goes to the gym because her mother-in-law and husband thinkshe needs to get out of the house, and when she comes home, she checks on her baby in the crib, but it's not her baby -- and nobody else in the house seems to think anything is amiss. The Wrong Mother was a bit more complex and better written. The protagonist, Sally, is the spitting image of ano ...more
Nenette
An interesting and rather complicated whoddunit. I never guessed who was the real killer, and there was not just one!

The theme is on the serious side, but it was made light by the manner of storytelling. This is the reason why I cannot decide if I should like it or not. I sometimes based my rating on the emotion a story evokes. It is always a high-rater for me if I get absorbed into the story and feel the characters. I didn't have that experience here. I felt more detached than attached to it; m
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Kathy Hiester
I loaned The Wrong Mother from a co-worker and I have just finished. This is definitely a second-rate book and if I had to describe it in one word it would be disappointing. From the summary on the back cover, this should have been a very good read but I just couldn’t get into the characters. The plot line hurdles from character to character making it bewildering and tough to follow and there was a perpetual allusion to something happening the year before but no details of what the incident actu ...more
Alice
This had the potential to be a lot better. I felt too often that I had picked up a book that was maybe #5 in a series and I should know more about the characters! I felt like I never understood what was going on between Simon and Charlie nor was the ending very satisfying. With 400 pp to work with, the author could have done better!! (and yet it was engrossing enough to get 3 stars!)
BIG OOPS! I just noticed that this book IS #3 in a series! That totally makes sense!!! This why I like to always s
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Steph
OK I thought after I read "Little Face" I was done with Sophie Hannah, but I went back and did it again. Not a bad story but far too much detail on three different mothers (or maybe more, I lost track). Do we need to hear every blow-by-blow description of a working mother's afternoon? How is she special/different/unique? Maybe it's just me, but I always feel that less is more. Add to that a dysfunctional police force and felt like I was reading a soap opera mystery.

I said no more Sophie Hannah.
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Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction, published in 27 countries. In 2013, her latest novel, The Carrier, won the Crime Thriller of the Year Award at the Specsavers National Book Awards. Two of Sophie’s crime novels, The Point of Rescue and The Other Half Lives, have been adapted for television and appeared on ITV1 under the series title Case Sensiti ...more
More about Sophie Hannah...
Little Face (Spilling CID, #1) Hurting Distance (Spilling CID, #2) Kind of Cruel (Spilling CID, #7) The Other Half Lives (Spilling CID, #4) A Room Swept White (Spilling CID, #5)

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“I never do enjoy my breaks, long or short...I look forward to them intensely, but as soon as they begin, I can feel them starting to end. I feel the temporariness of my freedom, and find it hard to concentrate on anything other than the sensation of it trickling away.” 44 likes
“What they'd got was a fat, balding academic who bandied about the phrase "family annihilation", especially when there were cameras pointed at him, and mentioned the titles of books and articles he'd written to anyone who would listen; who blatantly thought he was the mutt's nuts, as Sellers had so aptly put it.” 1 likes
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