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The Secret Mother

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4.07  ·  Rating details ·  8,792 ratings  ·  805 reviews
'Are you my mummy?’
Tessa Markham returns home to find a child in her kitchen. He thinks she’s his mother. But Tessa doesn’t have any children.

Not anymore.

She doesn’t know who the little boy is or how he got there.

After contacting the police, Tessa is suspected of taking the mystery child. Her whole life is turned upside down. And then her husband reveals a secret of his
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Kindle Edition, 244 pages
Published November 9th 2017 by Bookouture
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4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,792 ratings  ·  805 reviews


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Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*

4.5 stars!

Tessa Markham has just finished visiting the cemetery at the graves of her two twins. She visits them a lot, to try to get over her grieving. One twin dies at birth and the other dies a few days later. When she comes home, she sees a little boy in her kitchen, and he asks her, "Are you my Mummy"? Tessa lives alone. She no longer has any children. She then calls her ex-husband and he comes over and calls the police. She then becomes a suspect of abducting the child. She has to prove her
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Susanne  Strong
4.5 Stars* (rounded up)
Brilliantly Done.

Could you imagine coming home and finding someone in your kitchen? Would your reaction change if that someone were an innocent little boy who asks “Are you my mummy?” I sure can’t. One day however, that’s exactly what happens to Tessa Markham who comes home to find a little boy named Harry sitting in her kitchen. She has no idea who he is or how he got there.

Once she calls the police however, they think she kidnapped him. Her past, you see, it’s a colorful
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Sarah Joint
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whew! I haven't read a book in one sitting in awhile. This one was devoured before bed when I only planned to get through about 25% of it. It certainly keeps you reading. I definitely should have heeded the warnings from several reviews of this book written by friends: don't start unless you have time to finish. I had time, I just got way less sleep than I should have! There's never really a good time to stop, this story takes no breaks.

This is the fourth book I've read from Shalini Boland, and
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BIBLIOMANIAC MJ
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Beware of this book!!! It will take you hostage from the first word to the last...you can forget about your to do list, this gripping read will make itself a priority above all else!

When Tessa, who lives alone, arrives home after visiting the graves of her twin children, she is shocked to discover a little boy in her kitchen, asking her " are you my mummy?" Who is this child and how did he manage to get into her house?

Upon contacting the police, Tessa soon comes under suspicion of child abductio
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sue
Oh yes, yes yes yes yes, this was my kind of read, I really have taken this and added it to my top 10 this year, its a screaming from the rooftops fantastic read, if you love a good thriller, if you love to guess what happens next, if you love to stay up all night reading because you simply can't switch your mind off from a book, this is it, you found it, don't look any further.

This is so fast paced it leaves your breathless. One of the best psychological thrillers that I have read that has sho
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Carrie
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Tessa Markham has been living alone since she and her husband had split up after the loss of their son. When Tessa arrives home from work one night to what should be an empty house only to find a little boy in her kitchen she has no clue what she should do. When the little boy ask Tessa if she is to be his new mother Tessa knows she must find out just who this boy is and where he's come from.

Once the police arrive at Tessa's home she finds herself answering their questions over and over again.
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Louise Wilson
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Tess Markham arrives home after visiting the graves of her twins, she finds a little boy in her kitchen who asks her "are you my Mummy"? She does not know the child and she has no idea how he got into her house. After contacting the police, Tessa comes under suspicion of snatching the boy. She has to fight to prove her innocence but even the people closest to her are questioning the truth.

It took me a while to see where this story was going but it did not spoil the book for me as it is an e
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Pauline
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The secret Mother by Shalini Bolton was a excellent psychological thriller. I was hooked from the very first page until the last page. I really liked the character of Tessa and I did not want to put the book down and read it in one day. I will be looking forward to reading more books from this author. I would like to thank NetGalley and Bookouture for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Amy
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
4.5/5

I think it’s becoming more and more difficult to come up with a premise that instantly hooks the reader these days, especially in a psychological thriller but The Secret Mother instantaneously hooked me from the moment I finished the first chapter. Can you even imagine coming home one day to find a child that’s not yours just hanging out?! This is exactly what happens to Tessa and it’s all the more painful as her children have passed away, I swear this poor woman has been put through the wr
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Barbara

Landscape architect Tessa Markham has been touched by tragedy. What should have brought great joy - giving birth to fraternal twins - turned out to have sad consequences. Her daughter Lily died at birth and her son Sam died three years later from acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Shortly after Sam's death Tessa 'kidnapped' an infant in a pram, and - when apprehended - claimed she found the baby unattended and was taking him to the police station. The story seemed sketchy but Tessa was known to be gr
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Lisa
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tessa Markham is a grieving mother who visits the graves of her twins to cope with her loss, she returns home to find a little boy in her kitchen asking " ARE YOU MY MUMMY" this sends shockwaves through her she rings Scott her ex husband & tells him to come home quick.


the police turn up at Tessa's & accuse her of taking the boy, Tessa vehemently denies this & Scott who is now living a new life with Ellie who is expecting their first baby Scott thinks she is delusional & manic , t
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 Li'l Owl ~ Incorrigible Reader

Tessa Markham comes home to find a little boy in her kitchen.
He looks up as I enter the room, his chocolate-brown eyes wide. We stare at one another for a moment.
‘Are you my mummy?’ the little boy asks.
I bite my bottom lip, feel the ground shift. I grasp the counter top to steady myself.
‘Hello,’ I say, my heart suddenly swelling. ‘Hello. And who might you be?’
‘You know. I’m Harry,’


Tessa tries to remain calm while she gently asks Harry more questions about how he came to be in her kitchen, H
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Book Addict Shaun
I’m conflicted about how I felt about this one. As a psychological thriller it fell flat because there was little to no suspense, I can’t imagine there’s a reader who will pick this up and not work out the plot before the halfway mark and if there is then they mustn’t read many psychological thrillers. Even from the opening scenes it was kind of obvious what might have happened, but I was surprised at just how obvious it was as the story progressed.

Character wise I actually felt like the book w
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Malia
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Secret Mother is my second book by Boland, but it won't be my last. She writes good characters and engaging, not too grim mysteries, which I have found engaging from start to finish in both cases. Recommended!
Find more reviews and bookish fun at http://www.princessandpen.com

Thanks to Netgalley for supplying me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Angela Marsons
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well, I read...okay devoured this book in about five hours straight. Yes, I was only going to have an hour before I cooked tea but that plan was well and truly scuppered and it was Pot Noodles all round. The opening chapter hooked me and reeled me straight in. Where the hell had this kid come from and what was in Tessa's past? Too many questions to be answered and ones I couldn't possibly ignore to cook. The pace of this book was tremendous and tense. I found Tessa to be authentic, believable an ...more
Linda Strong

Tessa Markham heads for home after a day of work and stopping by the cemetery to spend some time with her twin babies as she does every week.

Much to her surprise, there is someone in her house .. and she lives alone. Astonishingly she finds a young boy sitting at her table, drawing pictures. Looking up, he says " Are you my mummy?".

And so begins Tessa's descent into a nightmare. She's being accused of kidnapping this boy. Even though she vehemently denies it, the police know she's done it before
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Gary
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shalini Boland writes good solid novels that grip the reader and thrill to the very end.
When Tessa Markham returns home she discovers a child in her kitchen who is convinced she is his mother. Tessa doesn't have any children and has no idea who this little boy is or how he got into her house. Although she contacts the police she is suspected of abducting the child and her life is shaken to the core.
This was a quick read, mainly due to the pace of the book and wanting to read one more chapter ag
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Eva
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tessa returns home after visiting her children’s graves at the cemetery, only to find a little boy in her kitchen asking her if she is his mummy. Tessa has no idea where the child came from or how he even got into her house. When she contacts the police, she’s quickly suspected of child abduction and even those close to her don’t believe her version of events.

Make sure you have a free afternoon when you start reading this one because you won’t want to put it down. It’s a very gripping, fast-pace
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Diana
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2'5*
I usually give 5 stars to everything Shalini Boland, but this time the plot was quite previsible for me. I mean, when we know that a certain someone worked in a certain place it was clear for me what all was about. Before I was thinking that she was making us doubt of the sanity of the main character so as not to be clear if she had really abducted the child or not, and I was expecting some of her usual twists, so I was surprised when all turned to be so... lineal. Maybe it is because I was
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Joanna Park
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Before reading The Secret Mother i felt in a bit of a reading slump.  I just couldn't motivate myself to do much reading.  Whether this was because of moving and a lot of other things happening I could't say but The Secret Mother helped me break this slump as I couldn't stop reading it.  I have to be honest, it wasn't one that grabbed me right from the start but the more I read the more intrigued I became as more and more odd things came to light.  I soon found that I was racing through the page ...more
Mandy White
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
Such a fantastic book! I read most of this in one night... only stopping when I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. I got sucked up into the story and couldn't wait to find out what happened next. I really felt for Tessa and hoped that everything wpuld turn out alright for her. Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for a copy of this book to read and review
Shalini
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good author is one who writes a book with well etched characters, where the story and plot lines flow and generally the reader is left feeling happy.
A great author is the one who captures the reader's attention from first page, pulls the reader into the story, where each emotion of the character is felt and the book reads like a movie, each chapter is a scene of the movie.
And Shalini Boland is a great author. Her book pulled me in from the first page and she took me on an intriguing journey.
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Heather~ Nature.books.and.coffee
this book is a solid 5🌟. I've never read any of Shalinis books before and I was not disappointed! I'm not even kidding, I did not guess the ending. I was on the edge of my seat through the whole book! she's a very good writer! I will most definitely be checking out more of her books.
Karen
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“This beautiful little boy is calling me his mummy. And yet I don’t know him. I’ve never seen him before in my life.”

Who is Harry, a boy who mysteriously appears in Tessa’s kitchen, calling her mummy? Although she reports the boy’s appearance immediately, the police and Tessa’s estranged husband Scott don’t believe her and plant the seed that Tessa snatched the boy off the street. The couple lost two young children several years before (one at birth and one at the age of 3) and Scott thinks Tess
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Laura
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: four-star
I’ve become a firm fan of Boland after thoroughly enjoying The Girl From The Sea, and her latest novel continues to impress and intrigue me. Tessa is in her mid thirties and living a rather solitary existence after her marriage breakup and the death of her twin babies. One Sunday afternoon, she returns home to find a young boy at her kitchen table - and he claims she is his mother.

What I liked about this book is that it wasn’t too taxing, as some psychological reads can be. Think of it as an int
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Jess☺️
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
another great gripping psychological thriller the secret mother is twist with a drop of annoyance thrown in to keep you on your toes,
It's not to heavy of read and is easy to just keep flipping pages.
Philomena Callan Cheekypee
This is a fantastic read. Apart from stopping to feed the family I pretty much read this in one sitting.

Tessas whole life changes when she gets home one day and finds a little boy in her house. He’s calling her mummy but Tessa knows her kids are no longer alive. He says that an angel left him there. Things get worse when the police and even her ex husband doubt her. Then Tessa starts doubting herself. Well if your told something enough you may believe it.

This story is a gripping read. Is Tessa
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J o d i  B i b l i o p h i l e ♥
WHAT A FUCKING BOOK!!

I absolutely loved it from the very first page to the very last.

A great twist I didn’t see coming that left me clutching my chest with shock and tears in my eyes.

I don’t get to read books set in England very much so it’s always a lovely change to spend time with English characters and familiar places.

This is the second book I’ve read by this author and I can so imagine them both being on the TV, like maybe a BBC drama series.

A proper twisty, suspense and heart felt read tha
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Chloe
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
When Tessa arrives home after visiting her kids graves she finds a little kid Henry in her kitchen asking her “Are you my mummy ?”. The cops and her ex-husband accuse her of kidnapping the boy and soon the media is camped out her front door making her life impossible. Tessa knows she has to get to the bottom of this mystery to clear her name but that might prove to be too dangerous as somebody is following and watching her.

The Secret Mother is a well written psychological thriller with very well
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Joanne Robertson
I can’t believe that I’ve never read a Shalini Boland novel before!! I absolutely loved this book and read it from cover to cover in just under 2 hours whilst out having a pre Christmas coffee! I’m pretty sure I gasped out loud at one point as all the fast paced twists and turns gathered even more momentum. And I know my jaw definitely dropped firmly to the floor at that shocking moment when everything came together, finally hitting me full on with the truth about why and how that little boy cam ...more
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