Gina's Reviews > The Wrong Mother

The Wrong Mother by Sophie Hannah
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's review
Jun 20, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: family-dysfunction, mystery, thriller, psychological-thriller
Recommended for: No one
Read from June 11 to 20, 2011 , read count: 1

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 that they would never speak of again. After the week, they were to part ways, never to see each other again. However, a year later, a television report shows that a young mother has committed murder/suicide with her young daughter Lucy. The father, Mark Bretherick, mourns for his family on television, but it is not the same Mark Bretherick that Sally spent a week with a year earlier. Investigations by the police try to put the puzzle pieces of what has happened together, but after some strange events, Sally is convinced she must alert the police annonymously that the man on television is not the Mark Bretherick that she knows. The police keep finding new pieces of the puzzle to figure out the mystery of who Mark really is and what his family is really capable of.

Sounds great doesn't it....this has to be some great mystery read, after all, this is what the book description says to pull a reader right in. However, there are some big buts in this book. 1st of all, this book moves at a snail's pace. I felt like I was dragging my feet to read it because it was so boring at first. The reader is introduced to all of these characters and references to their past and they aren't explained at first. That's will come along with the story. Well they don't. Sargeant Charlie (female) has something in her past that she is ashamed of that even made her switch jobs. I kept waiting to find out WTH it was because it was mentioned often, but nothing was ever revealed that seemed to be so embarrassing that she would need to switch jobs. Even by page 200, almost halfway through the book, I still didn't really know what was going on. 2nd, the investigation of this crime was like it was done by characters who were no smarter than monkeys (no offense Monkeys!)! Not able to track down people when they had full names, not searching every relation to schools and work to find these people. This seems ridiculous to me. The book is set in the late 90's but come on, I am sure police at this point in time had some sort of search engine to find registries, tax ids, license, property documents, anything?? 3rd, Simon and Charlies relationship. All I have to say is what the hell?? So confusing?? The scene with Stacey, Seller's wife?? The talk of Suki, Seller's girlfriend. All character intros and scenes that had nothing to do with the book at all!! 4th, the ending (which I won't give away) comes out of nowhere and I mean nowhere! All of the sudden, its just all figured out and the person is taken in. There is a major character that I am not even sure if he is alive at the end or guilty in any way....I went back and read it 3 times to figure out and again WTH...didn't get it. 5th and finally, the ending for Sally...really...that's it!!! It's all okey dokey. No explanation there either.

The only reason I am even giving it 2 stars is because I did like when things were sort of coming together and I was like finally I want to read fast to get it all after waiting so long. This book really had potential...a good plot idea and good twists, but the author just didn't do it right. It could have been so much better. I want to take a look at some of the authors other titles, but I am definitely not jumping into another of Hannah's books until I read lots of reviews, including the bad ones to see if any are like this one. Sorry Ms. Hannah, but this could have been a lot stronger.
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Reading Progress

06/11/2011 page 31
7.0% "So far so good. I was a little confused by the opening but it was explained by page 31. I have heard that this author is good, but I am surprised by the lower ratings it has been given. I guess I will have to see for myself."
06/14/2011 page 52
13.0% "The only thing I see so far that I don't like is the bad attitude Simon has towards the poor community Charlie is helping."
06/15/2011 page 52
13.0% "I left the book at another person's house so I am now reading another one until I get it back. Usually it doesn't take this long for me to get a book done, but since it's an actual book and not on my Kindle, I keep leaving it in cars or wherever I go. Oh well, I will get it done soon!"
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