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Only a Mother

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  249 ratings  ·  61 reviews

'An addictive new talent' Helen Fields

Erica Wright hasn't needed to scrub 'MURDERER' off her house in over a year. Life is almost quiet again. Then her son, Craig, is released from prison, and she knows the quiet is going to be broken.
Erica has always believed Craig was innocent - despite the lies she told for him years ago - but when

Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published December 27th 2018 by Orion
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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  249 ratings  ·  61 reviews

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Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Only a Mother is an edgy, psychological thriller that is emotionally taut and suspicious at the turn of every page.

Craig Wright has spent 17 years in jail for the rape and murder of 18-year-old Lucy Sharpe, and there is a cloud of suspicion hanging over him for the unsolved murder of another young woman at the time, Jenna Threlfall. Craig's mother Erica, has never doubted his innocence and has suffered at the hands of the local community all those years, with verbal abuse, alienation and
Dash fan
5☆ Gets Right Under Your Skin!
A Must Read for 2019!

Wow oh wow this is my first thriller of the year and Ohhh I Loved it!,
This is one of those books that gets under your skin and won't let go!

I'm not going to delve too much into the plot, as it's far too good to potentially give anything away!

What I will briefly say, is this is a compulsive read about a broken Mother (Erica), who puts all her faith, love and trust in her Son (Craig)
But the problem is her Son was convicted of a horrific rape and
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
What an absolutely amazing read. I’ve been glued reading this.

The rounded out characters were so in your face and believable.

Erica the Mother of Craig who was convicted of a crime has always said her son was innocent. Let’s face it, we all would be the same, a friendly lad, a good son, who could imagine such a thing.

Was she right? Or was she wrong to trust her Mothers instincts?

She fell out with her long time best friend over an interview she gave to the papers about her son.

Erica stayed put in
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really liked and enjoyed this book. I felt awful for Erica throughout it all. Especially with how she was treated by the community. I figured out what was going on early on the book so there was no big surprise for me in it. The writing was brilliant and it was told very well. I really liked most of the charterers as well especially Erica and Luke. They were good people and I’m glad things got better for them in the end. It was a thoroughly enjoyable book and I definitely recommend it.
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Almost twenty years ago, Erica’s son, Craig, was convicted of the murder of a young girl. Erica has always believed in her son’s innocence but she was the only one. Friends and neighbours have stopped talking to her. She has often come home to graffiti on her front door or poop through the letterbox. Her life has basically come to a stand-still. Afraid to leave the house in daylight but determined not to leave her home, she’s pretty much a pariah in the community. Just when life finally seems to ...more
Liz Barnsley
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Addictive psychological thriller that does it exactly what it says on the tin, keeping you reading and guessing whether "Only A Mother " knows her son is innocent or perhaps he's fooled her all along.

Proper page turner. Full review to follow for the tour.
Donna Maguire

I have read a few books by this author now and really enjoyed them so I was delighted to be able to get my hands on her latest release – Only a Mother!

I found the book to be well written and I was hooked by the plot line from the outset. I will admit that I guessed the ending and that did affect my enjoyment slightly in that it took away the surprise element as I was just left waiting to see when it would all happen, but I still though it was a really enjo
Zoé-lee O'farrell
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2019

Oh my god! How have I not read anything by Elisabeth Carpenter before! I have 11 Missed calls on my Kindle and I need to get 99 Red Balloons. But bloody hell, I need to sort this out pronto! I mean WOW what a book!

This book has put me through the wringer completely. I have been wrought with fear, fear what is going to come but it has caused something to happen in my eyes. I mean this liquid came out of my eyes a bit when reading this book and I am sure at one point she may have caused me a bit o
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
I was a little disappointed in this story as it was a touch predictable. While the concept of a mother's love was developed well, the actual story fell flat for me.
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-challenge
I really enjoyed the first two books by Elisabeth Carpenter, 99 Red Balloons and 11 Missed Calls, and so when the opportunity arose to read this latest offering, I jumped at it. Would the book meet my expectations? Well ... it's a very different kind of read, a different tone and perhaps even pacing, but yes. Yes, it absolutely did.

This is, in essence, the story of Erica, a woman who has had to come to terms with the fact that her son is a convicted murderer, a child who, somewhere along the way
Joanne Robertson
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I have read both previous books by Elisabeth Carpenter so feel well qualified to say that Only A Mother is her best book so far! I always review in order to spread the book love to other readers but only very rarely do I feel compelled to message an author to tell them how their book has made me feel! There was a point about half way through this book that a simple paragraph hit me so hard that I unbelievably burst into tears! And after staying up late to finish the book last night, I’ve been un
Rebecca If Only I Could Read Faster
Only A Mother is author Elizabeth Carpenter's third book but it is the first one that I have read. I have heard a fair bit about her previous books, especially 99 Red Balloons which is a book on my tbr pile that I very much hope to read soon.

When I was given the opportunity to read Only A Mother I was quick to say yes, not only because of the author but also because the blurb sounded interesting. The idea that your child had committed an awful crime and was in prison isn't a nice one, would you
Abby Slater- Fairbrother
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
‘Murderer; get out; scum’

The title opens with mum Erica Wright dealing with the aftermath of her sons convictions. Between the graffiti and excrement at her door, her life has spiralled out of control. She now lives her life dedicated to proving her son Craig’s innocence.
But is he really so innocent…

‘What I do know, is that my son would never harm anyone’

The novel is told from the point of view of not only Erica, but local Chronicle journalist Luke whom believes Craig will instantly re-offend.
Nicola Smith
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I appear to have Elisabeth Carpenter's first two books (99 Red Balloons and 11 Missed Calls, in case you were wondering), waiting for me on my TBR pile. I must rectify this as I enjoyed her latest offering, Only a Mother, very much indeed.

In fact, this is a book I found hard to put down, racing through the final 120 pages in one go. The story is told mostly from two characters' points of view: Erica's in the first person and Luke's in the third. Erica is the mother of Craig, a man who has been i
Edward Stokes
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another fast paced and dramatic storyline!

I have read Elisabeth Carpenter's first two books 99 Red Balloons and 11 missed calls so was interested to read this latest book Only a Mother.
As with the previous books you get to know certain characters really well as the plot opens up. Erica is a Mother certain of her sons innocence but throughout the story his actions make you question his role in the murder 17 years ago.
You also get to know Luke a local newspaper reporter and hearing and seeing th
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Having read and enjoy 11 missed calls by Elizabeth Carpenter I was looking forward to reading her latest book .

A mother’s love and protection of her children is something I can relate to. I would do anything for my three sons but if I was faced with Ericas situation in this book I’m not sure how I would react.

Erica is Craig’s mother , he has been in prison for murder. Craig is due for release and although Erica is looking forward to his return she is also apprehensive about sharing her life wi
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Only A Mother is the third book I have read by Elisabeth Carpenter and in my opinion is the best one yet.

It is a crime novel, but one that deals with what happens years after the crime. Most of it is told by the viewpoint of either Erica, mother of Craig who has just been released from prison or Luke who is a journalist covering the story of a killer released back into the local area. I found it mesmerising. The abuse that Erica faced daily. Not just vandalism but also the whispers and the isola
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A really well written edge of your seat thriller! Exactly the type of book I like to read! This book kept me guessing throughout and I was impressed with the twists that unfolded.
Bucks, Books & Beyond
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
The thing I enjoyed most about this book is how the author created such an intense connection between me as the reader and the characters depicted in this book. For me in particular, I felt most strongly towards Erica who is the mother of Craig who was convicted of the murder of a young girl and has spent most of his adult life in prison. Erica has endured unbelievable backlash from the community and press after the conviction of her son to the point where she has basically been held just as lia ...more
Oct 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
Thank you to Netgalley and Orion Publishing Group for the advance copy.
My first Elisabeth Carpenter book and always a delight to find a new Author, Only a Mother spins the tale of a Mother after her son is convicted of a heinous crime.
Erica the Mother of Craig is a tormented soul after the fallout of the events 17 years ago, we pick up the story as she awaits Craig's release from prison.
The book is told from two perspectives of Erica and Luke a local news journalist who covered the events and tr
Chanel Lindsay
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Even though I ended up buying my own physical copy of this book to read, I still would like to thank Netgalley and the publishers for also providing me with a copy to review.

This book follows Erica Wright, who hasn't needed to scrub 'MURDERER' off her house in over a year. Life is almost quiet again. Then her son, Craig, is released from prison, and she knows the quiet is going to be broken. Erica has always believed Craig was innocent - despite the lies she told for him years ago - but when he
Joanne Tinkler (Mamajomakes)
Erica’s son Craig is about to be released from prison after serving seventeen years for the rape and murder of his girlfriend Lucy. Those long years have had an enormous effect on Erica, she’s suffered verbal and emotional abuse from her neighbours and the people of her town. Craig comes home and instantly he’s breaking his release rules by going out drinking, mixing with teenage girls and hanging out with criminals like his best mate Jason. As Craig’s behaviour becomes more erratic and troublin ...more
Paula Stammers
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-read
Nothing can falter a Mother’s love !! This is definitely true of the two mothers in this book.

Erica has always stood by her son, Craig, even though he has been in prison for the past 17 years. He was sentenced after being found guilty of a young girl, when he was only 17. He is now being released but not everyone is happy for him to be home. Did Erica do the right thing by standing by her son ? Were all the decisions she made the right ones ?

Erica’s best friend Denise, talked to the newspaper ab
Cleopatra  Pullen
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, crime
It is rare that a book tackles what happens after a murderer has been convicted. I don’t mean so much what is life like in prison for the perpetrator but what happens to the relatives, both those of the victim and those connected by blood to the killer.

Only a Mother really examines the aftermath of a crime and the ripples that it causes years after the murder was committed. Craig Wright was convicted of the murder of an eighteen year old girl when he was twenty and has been in prison for sevente
Celeste Ní raois


Erica Wright hasn't needed to scrub 'MURDERER' off her house in over a year. Life is almost quiet again. Then her son, Craig is released from prison and she know the quiet is going to be broken.

Erica has always believed Craig was innocent - despite the lies she told for him years ago - but when he arrives home, she notices the changes in him. She doesn't recognise her son anymore.

So, when another gir
Between The Pages Book Club (Gemma M)
Oh My Days. This was a rollercoaster of a read. Absolutely loved it. Brilliant. Highly recommend. A well deserved five stars from me.

Brilliantly written, contains short chapters and fast paced. This was my last read for 2018 and it blew me away. I was well and truelly glued to this book. I think it would make a brilliant film. Just when you think you know all the characters and personalities… BOOM. NO. Flip that upside down… Very impressed.

I absolutely loved Ericas character. All her faith and t
Susan Atkin
Jan 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Unfortunately I didn’t enjoy this book as much as her previous 2 novels. I wasn’t racing to pick it up and thought it was a bit hard going. The story, although original, was trying to be much more than it was with characters written in just for the hell of it. The conclusion wasn’t much of a shocker either. An average 3 stars.
Karen Keane
Mar 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
Not my favourite book of this authors, I found it took a bit of getting in to and it had quite a strange mix of characters, none of them really connecting. The story line was ok and I did like the character Erica but the whole plot felt a little flat.
B.R. Maycock
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the story of Erica Wright, who has been dealing with the fallout since her son went to jail for the murder of a local girl. Erica has hardened herself to an extent-she has to because nobody has stuck with her and now she lives a very solitary life that's full of routine and loneliness. We also get the point of view of someone we feel we should be a little uncomfortable about and then we encounter Luke, a reporter that reported on the case when is happens and is out to get another story n ...more
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Elisabeth (Libby) Carpenter won a Northern Writers New Fiction Award (2016) and was longlisted for Yeovil Literary Prize (2015 & 2016) and MsLexia Women’s Novel award (2015).

Elisabeth lives in Preston, Lancashire with her family. She loves the north of England, setting most of her stories in the area – including the novel she is writing at the moment.

99 Red Balloons was Elisabeth’s debut novel.

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