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

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  6,310 Ratings  ·  915 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
ebook, 432 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Penguin Books (first published 2008)
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Apr 11, 2010 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
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
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
Nov 29, 2012 Ellen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 21, 2010 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 10, 2009 Dorsi rated it really liked it  ·  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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Berna Schell
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
Jun 30, 2015 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly good!

Let me state that again for emphasis: This book was surprisingly good. Psychological Murder Mysterious are not my top reading genre, although I do enjoy them when I find one that can harness my attention. Not many can achieve this and to be honest I was apprehensive upon starting this book. It took me a little while to get a feel for the author's writing style and one of the lead characters voices so much so that until I was about a third of the way in I teetering on the edge
Jul 15, 2014 LG rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 14, 2009 Caitlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
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
Oct 26, 2009 Laurel-Rain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Dec 14, 2009 Stevie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth Salom (elistar)
copied and pasted from my book blog,

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
Oct 19, 2010 Jennie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
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
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
Feb 24, 2010 Marcia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 05, 2010 Sharyl rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 29, 2009 Bridget rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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,
Oct 15, 2015 Dibi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, que alegría haberte conocido Sophie Hannah, y yo que creía que solo Gillian Flynn tocaría mi corazón de esa manera tan macabra que sabe hacer.
The Wrong Mother se ha llevado el premio hasta ahora del libro que más me ha encantado de SH. Tiene todo lo que me gusta de un thriller, lo primero que se te viene a la mente al leer a estas mujeres es ¡¡no tengas hijos!!. Además, cumple con lo que tanto deseo: Que me sorprenda. Nunca ni en un millón de años hubiera podido prever tremendo fi
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
Aug 20, 2015 HÜLYA rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bence konu güzel ancak çok dağınıktı.Kim kimdi diye düşünürken konu arap saçına döndü bence yazarın tarzı çok karmaşık.
Jun 11, 2011 Gina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
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
Mar 10, 2017 K~Terror rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible, perks-uno
Interesting story but some of it was pretty hard to follow.
Sep 11, 2012 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Elizabeth Scott
Aug 24, 2009 Elizabeth Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 20, 2014 Lorraine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 20, 2013 Jan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Feb 21, 2011 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Spilling CID (10 books)
  • Little Face (Spilling CID, #1)
  • Hurting Distance (Spilling CID, #2)
  • The Other Half Lives (Spilling CID, #4)
  • A Room Swept White (Spilling CID, #5)
  • Lasting Damage (Spilling CID, #6)
  • Kind of Cruel (Spilling CID, #7)
  • The Carrier (Spilling CID, #8)
  • Woman with a Secret (Spilling CID, #9)
  • The Narrow Bed (Spilling CID, #10)

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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.” 61 likes
“Sometimes, convenience has the appearance of logic.” 3 likes
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