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Picture of Innocence

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4.21  ·  Rating details ·  486 ratings  ·  149 reviews
You love your family. You’d never let anything happen to them… would you?

With three children under ten, Maddie is struggling. On the outside, she’s a happy young mother, running a charity as well as a household. But inside, she’s exhausted. She knows she’s lucky to have to have a support network around her. Not just her loving husband, but her family and friends too.

But is
...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Avon
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Average rating 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  486 ratings  ·  149 reviews


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Michelle
May 17, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-arcs
I have to say that after turning the last page that the title and synopsis for this book really does give too much away. I guessed the who very early on and I was correct.

Maddie is the mother of three children, Emily, Jacob, and two month old Noah who suffers from Colic. No matter what Maddie does it seems she can never get Noah to settle. His screams and cries pierce the silence day and night leaving Maddie physically and emotionally exhausted. When she wakes one morning after having a full ni
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Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: I crawl back into bed and stare blindly up into the darkness. I won't sleep; not tonight, not for many nights to come. I doubt I'll ever sleep soundly again.

I start to shake. The adrenalin that brought me this far suddenly drains away and I begin to shiver so violently my muscles cramp. I press my fist against my mouth to still the chatter of my teeth. If I had anything left in my stomach, I would be sick again.

I've always thought of myself as a fundamentally good person. I'm not perfec
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Jayme
This is a hard book for me to review for two reasons. The first being that I read the publisher’s synopsis, and I feel that it says too much. I had this one figured out from the get-go. The second, being that it is a GUT WRENCHING domestic thriller, which is not where MY personal tastes lie, so I cannot say that I enjoyed this story. (Revised rating after some reflection)

With that being said, however, I DO think the book is well written and that readers who do prefer their mystery/thrillers on t
...more
Mark
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
DISTURBING
This book is not a cozy read, nor one to ‘enjoy’ or with even a smidgen of humour in it, it wont make you feel good nor lighten your mood, it
includes in the build up to the main story sections on all kinds
of abuse and brutality suffered in childhood by one of the books main characters, it is a harrowing, shocking look into a young girls life and why she did as she did at such a young age ( further on in the book )
It’s important ( to me ) to be honest in a review and this part of the
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Dash fan
4☆ Twisty, Domestic Thriller that will get under your skin!

Picture of Innocence is a dark twisty Domestic thriller that gets under your skin.
Just reading the blurb filled me with intrigue.

I'm not going to go into the plot as I don't want to risk giving anything away.

What I will say is Maddie has been suffering from depression and is struggling with life and motherhood. Appearances can be very deceptive!
But what follows next for Maddie is every mother's worst nightmare and I really mean that. Wha
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Amanda
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This dark but addictive read explores what it is like to tragically lose a child and the impact it has on the rest of the family.

Maddie is struggling to bring up 3 children under the age of 10 she has suffered with post natal depression and is on medication that may be causing her to suffer memory loss and blackouts.

When their youngest Noah is discovered dead in his cot and it’s soon discovered it is not a natural death, she becomes the prime suspect. Could she have done it during a black out!!

W
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Ken
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A dark but rewarding read that sensitively tackles the death of a small child, along with the immediate impact of the tragic events for the family.
This emotionally charged novel had me hooked.

Maddie is struggling to raise three children all under the age of ten, the exhausted housewife is still medicated for postnatal depression after the birth of her second child continues to also experience memory loss and blackouts.
When the youngest child Noah is found dead in he’s cot, she’s instantly the pr
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Shalini
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book chilled me deep into my core. I found myself trembling late at night when I finally finished the book. The ending of the story would stay with me for a long time just imagining that scene and its repercussions.

A new mother with 3 children and no sleep with post natal depression and memory lapses  made a soul crushing discovery one morning when she found her 2 month old child dead. Was it crib death or foul play?

Author T J Stimson has done a brilliant job making me run around in circl
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NZLisaM
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A hard-hitting domestic thriller that delves into the darker side of family life.

Maddie – Awakens one morning to a mother's worst nightmare – her infant son, Noah, lies dead in his cot. And, with her husband away, she's the police’s number one suspect. Maddie's convinced she could never hurt her own child, but the medication she's been on since the postpartum depression she had after her middle child, Jacob, was born, sometimes causes her to experience blackouts and time lapses.

Lydia – A young g
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Liz Barnsley
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Emotional family drama with psychological thriller elements, Picture of Innocence is a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, with some realistically drawn characters and a huge moral dilemma right at the heart of it.

Picture of Innocence explores themes of nature v nurture, grief and loss and how far we'd go to protect those we love.

Ms Stimson keeps you turning those pages, especially after tragedy strikes and we are in the realms of every parent's worst nightmare. The underlying emotional core is b
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Louise Wilson
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With three children under the age of ten, Maddie is struggling. On the outside, she's a happy young mother, running a charity as well as a household. Bit inside, she's exhausted. She knows she's lucky to have a support network around her. A loving husband, family and friends, but is Maddie putting her trust in the right people? When tragedy strikes, she is certain someone has hurt her child.

I was hooked from the start of this book. Maddie is having blackouts. Noah, her newest baby, has died in h
...more
Jayme
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a hard book for me to review for two reasons. The first being that I read the publisher’s synopsis, and I feel that it says too much. I had this one figured out from the get-go. The second, being that it is a GUT WRENCHING domestic thriller, which is not where MY personal tastes lie, so I cannot say that I enjoyed this story.

With that being said, however, I DO think the book is well written and that readers who do prefer their mystery/thrillers on the darker, more disturbing side WILL b
...more
Eva
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Maddie is busy, busy, busy. With three children under the age of ten and running a sanctuary, she is tired. Oh, so very tired. Maddie has a wonderful support network in family and friends but when her baby is hurt, everyone suddenly turns into a suspect. Was Maddie so exhausted, she harmed her own child? Or was someone else responsible?

Picture of Innocence is part psychological thriller and part truly heartbreaking family drama. It’s immensely emotional seeing a family go through the hardships M
...more
Lou
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are so many domestic thrillers on the market with interchangeable artwork, titles, characters and synopses, and this book is no exception. However, I found it much more compelling than most and the subject matter is one that is profoundly chilling. It's quite a tough reads as it's a stark reminder that we all need a support system in place but that not everyone can be trusted to have pure objectives. Picture of Innocence is rather cleverly written and just as it says, the characters you le ...more
Jeanette
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The 'Picture of Innocence' has to be one of my favourite psychological thrillers that i have read for some time. So many twists and turns, which had me guessing right to the end. Each time i thought i had it figured out, so the story took another twist. I also enjoyed that the story was based around areas that i know. It is the first time that i have read a book by this author and am keen to read more. I seldom write what a story is about as i prefer one to read it for themselves, but i do highl ...more
Joanne Robertson

Oh I really loved this one! I want to say that I really enjoyed it but that seems a rather inappropriate word for how I felt after I read this heartbreaking and disturbing family oriented psychological thriller. It got beneath my skin very quickly once I started reading it and I was compelled to read it whenever I could, even taking it to work with me to finish during my lunch break as I couldn’t wait until I got home that day to finish it.

I empathised with Maddie right from the start. As a mum
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Melissa In The City
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, arc
5 stars for this twisted, sad, emotional mind game of a book.
Yes, lots of this book were hard to read due to the topics and situations but the author did a superb job of handling those topics. It was no different than watching Olivia Bensen handle an SVU case.
I really enjoyed the two stories of two women in two different periods of time and watching how those stories intertwined,
The ending?! Wow didn’t see that coming!

Thank you #Netgalley, the author and publisher for my free ARC in exchange
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Adele Shea
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
T J Stimson's Picture of Innocence is an absolute fantastic book. Edge of your seat material at its best. ...more
Karen Whittard
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh yes. This book ticked all the right box’s for me. It was captivating, gripping, full of fabulous twist and turns. With a stunning ending and a fantastic cast of characters. This is one to look out for next year for sure.

My name is Lydia. I’m 12 years old. I’m not an evil person, but I did something bad.

My name is Maddie. I’d never hurt my son. But can I be sure if I don’t remember?

With three children under ten, Maddie is struggling. On the outside, she’s a happy young mother, running a chari
...more
Lisa
Apr 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: april-2019
Thank you Avon Books UK for a copy of Picture of Innocence for an honest review. Available April 18, 2019.
Picture of Innocence relies on the unreliable narrator a little too much for my taste. Maddie is a mother of three fighting through sleep exhaustion and worried about postpartum depression while running a charity that is failing. I have read that particular unreliable narrator a lot and it vaguely annoys me that most of her family quickly stops believing or trusting her but no one helps her
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Clair Sharpe
Maddie has 3 children, two of them under 3 and is struggling. On the outside she appears to be coping running a horse sanctuary as well as being a good mum and wife to Lucas. But she is exhausted - baby Noah suffers from colic and doesn't sleep and she is also suffering with frightening memory losses.
But when baby Noah is found dead in his cot, she is soon under suspicion for his death. While she is sure she didn't do anything wrong, it isn't long before she starts to suspect the people around h
...more
peggy
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A psychological thriller with touches of the domestic noir books but this one is so much more. Once I started reading this book I found it impossible to put down, hence I was tapping my kindle faster and faster late into the night. A two month old baby dies from a suspected cot death but then the mother is under suspicion. So many secrets and lies and as for the ending WHAM definitely not what I was expecting. This book is very emotional in places, it has had me holding my breath, shouting at it ...more
Sophie Bristow Harris
I absolutely loved “Picture of Innocence”. This book is awash with red herrings, just as I thought I knew what was happening - my thoughts were spun on their head and I was proved completely wrong!
A superbly written psychological thriller that kept me awake through the night wanting to see how it panned out. I’m now completely shattered from lack of sleep but that was made so worth it by this excellent book. I’ve recommended it to all my book friends and think I’m going to find it hard to top t
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Darren
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got this as a e book from Net Galley. I enjoyed reading it. It had a good story to it. I liked the variety of characters in it. It is my first book read by this author. I hope to read more books by this author.
Trisha
Apr 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"She is already the keeper of so many secrets. One more won't make any difference."

This was a tough read as I never felt fully pulled in. I rode with Maddie's story but was thing spiraled out of control, I just couldn't get interested. I found Lydia's story interesting but a bit distracting at points - but it's definitely an intricate part of the plot and is necessary.....I just didn't love how it was interjected.

I did like the ultimate twist and liked how it all played out. It's an interesting
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January Gray
This was a decent read, but not my favorite. It was a little too weird for my taste. I really just couldn't wrap my head around the concept of it. Good idea, just maybe not well rounded out enough for me. ...more
Vanessa
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-x
I just loved this book "Picture of Innocence" by T J Stimson. However, at the beginning I thought I had read this book or something similar before and had the same feeling when I was further within the book. But, it did not stop me reading it.

My name is Lydia. I’m 12 years old. I’m not an evil person, but I did something bad.

What did Lydia do?

Who is she?

I was hooked just from this and wanted to find out more about Lydia.

Maddie and Lucas are married. They have 3 small children Emily is 9, son
...more
Pat Simpson
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a really dark and compelling read. The book has two main characters and their two stories. There is Maddie, a mother with husband Lucas and three young children but she is struggling with post natal depression and blackouts. When she finds her youngest child Noah dead in his cot she is the main suspect but who really was responsible? Then we are introduced to Lydia, a young girl who has been subjected to abuse and neglect, how can their stories be connected? The police investigation cont ...more
Kathleen Gray
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No spoilers! That makes this hard to review but darn it, it's worth the read. Maddie's got a lot- probably too much- on her plate. She's also experiencing blackouts. Hmm. When tragedy strikes, things come unglued. Who is Lydia? Her tale twists and turns around Maddie's and how these two come together might surprise you. Even if it doesn't, you'll find yourself totally immersed in the story. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. Well written and with some cool plot twists, this is a very good read- pe ...more
Marina
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How is your memory? How often do you forget things? Can you forget that you’ve hurt your child?

Maddie is a mother of three, a girl and two boys. But she suffers postnatal depression. With the help of her husband and mother, she believes she copes well. But then the blackouts start. One moment she is preparing breakfast for the children in the kitchen, next one she is in the shopping mall. She is so terified, she doesn’t tell a soul. And then her baby , the youngest son, dies in his bed. While sh
...more
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