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Playing Nice

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  20,902 ratings  ·  2,754 reviews
What if you found out that your family isn't yours at all? How far would you go to protect them? A gripping new psychological thriller from the bestselling author of The Girl Before. . . .

Pete Riley answers the door one morning and lets in a parent's worst nightmare. On his doorstep is Miles Lambert, a stranger who breaks the devastating news that Pete's son, Theo, isn't a
Hardcover, 402 pages
Published July 28th 2020 by Ballantine Books
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  20,902 ratings  ·  2,754 reviews

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Can you imagine during your mid-day somebody knocking on your door and when you answer it, you see a man standing in front of you looks like older version of your son!

There are three options for you to express your feelings:

1) Slamming the door shut at the man’s face and form a plan to kill your spouse for her infidelity (you may also hire a contract killer if you have great connections at the dark web. Don’t you dare to ask me how I can know!)

2) Slamming the door shut at the man’s face, moving
Mary Beth
Sep 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing

4.5 Stars!

The door bell rang and Peter Riley went to answer the door and there were two young men outside the door, and one of them looked exactly like Theo, his son. "Can we come in they asked". "Its about your son they said". "It would be better to talk indoors". Pete let them in and Miles Lambert introduced himself and Don Maguire. "Prepare yourself for a shock, Lambert said." " I am sorry to tell you that Theo is not your son'. "He is mine." Don Maguire says that we both have sons who were b
Wow, what a horrible thing to happen to a family, to two families! Two years after Maggie and Pete have the agonizing time of their son Theo being born months early, and all the heartbreak that goes with such a tiny premature baby, a man enters their life and tells them that Theo is his son, that their babies were accidentally switched not long after they were born and sent to the ICU for babies. Miles and Lucy, who have baby David, have had him DNA tested so they are positive he is not their so ...more
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
“A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity. It dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path”.

-The Last Seance (from The Hound of Death and Other Stories, also Double Sin and Other Stories)”
― Agatha Christie, The Hound of Death.

Pete and Maggie Riley have a 2 year old son Theo, they’re having a few problems right now with his behaviour, he’s very naughty at home, and doesn’t want to play nice with the other kids at n
JULY 28, 2020

If I were Forrest Gump, or perhaps his mother, I would say, “J P Delaney books are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”

Nothing formulaic, about this author’s work! The first was suspense, the second read like a screenplay, the third had a sci-fi feel, and now comes “Playing Nice” one that will feel like a family drama for the MAJORITY of the book but, don’t worry...not everything is what it seems!

Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, favorites

Hello, friends! Meet my first 5-star stunner of 2020!

I've had a few 4.5 star reads which I've rounded up, but Playing Nice has become the understated hit of my reading season thus far.

I confess, after The Perfect Wife, a story of which I was NOT a fan, I honestly didn't have high hopes going in. However, since I really enjoyed The Girl Before, I was absolutely willing to give J.P. Delaney another shot.

I'm so glad I did!

This book is e
This was so flipping good!!!! The premise for this book is the most exciting thriller premise I've heard of in quite some time. It follows this couple Pete and Maddie who are raising their two year old son Theo, when this other couple knocks on their door and tells them their children were accidentally swapped at the hospital when they gave birth. Their birth son David has been being raised by this other couple Miles and Lisa for the last two years, and now they have the difficult decision of de ...more

A fantastic and thought-provoking domestic suspense novel!!

I started off reading this novel but switched over to the audiobook a few chapters in as I wanted to get a few things done around the house. I found the beginning of the book a little hard to get into, but honestly, it wasn't long before I was completely HOOKED!

This book had me feeling all kinds of emotions. I don't normally think about jumping ahead with books, but at times I was so anxious that I contemplated skipping chapters to see h
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

Playing nice is not something Miles Lambert has ever even tried to be good at. Mid-way through the book we will find out just how manipulating and forceful he can be.

Pete and Maggie have been raising a son, Theo, for two years, loving him, teaching him to learn and to “play nice” with his friends. Theo is a great little boy, energetic and intelligent but has been having trouble at nursery school with sharing and learning how to play with others. He was very premature
Aug 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Talk about domestic suspense which turns into a psychological thriller!


What a nightmare! Pete Riley unknowing opens the door one and has everything turned upside down. Miles Lambert and his attorney inform Pete that his and Maggie's two-year-old son, Theo is not actually their son. That there was a a mix up at the hospital and that Pete and Maggie brought home, Miles and Lucy Lambert's son and they in turn took home, Pete and Maggie's, son who is named David. The Lambert's are suing the hos
Sep 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddy-read, netgalley
The premise of this book quickly got my attention. Having read the previous book by this author “The perfect wife,” I knew this was a must for me!

Pete Riley answers a knock at his door to find his life won’t ever be the same! (This is exactly why I never answer the door). On the other side of the door is Miles Lambert, exuding an air of confidence, teetering on downright arrogance. Miles has some rather interesting news to share with Pete. The child Pete has raised from birth actually belong
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
First 5-star read of 2021! 🏆This book was unputdownable... A roller-coaster of emotions from page 1 to page 400!

What if you found out your 2-year-old son wasn't your genetic son? What if he had been switched at birth?

Believe me, I don't get so enthusiastic often. I couldn't rave enough about this book, so let me go straight to the point: if you enjoy domestic thrillers, read it. If you're ready to be confronted to ethical questions and to feel strong emotions (positive and negative as well), rea
Happy publication day (28th July) to this unsettling gem!

A gripping, unsettling, well written and researched psychological thriller!

What would you do if you found out that your child was not your child?
How far would you go to protect your family?

Pete and Maddie find out that their two year old son, is not their son, that they took the wrong baby home from the hospital, after a mix up in the NICU. At first, both families seem to have the best intentions, but what happens when they stop 'playing n
Aug 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
A super enjoyable book that blended a few different genres.

I found the writing really convincing.
How terrifying it must be for people caught in the system!

The ending merged all the different parts of the story in a way that was consistent with the rest of the book - more sincere, rather than excessively over the top.
Most of us would do anything for our family, especially our children. But imagine finding out your 2-year-old isn’t your biological child? That during an emergency in the NICU there was a mix-up at birth?

This is the dilemma facing Maddie and Pete. In the beginning, everyone is playing nice as they attempt to work out an amicable arrangement. Both sets of parents appear to want what’s best for the children. It’s difficult to say much without giving away key plot points, but as you would expect,
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
JP Delaney's latest offering is a tense and riveting blend of family drama and psychological thriller that explores the emotionally charged feelings and complexities of the dilemma faced by parents in London, making the shocking discovery that their two year old toddler son is not their child, he was mixed up with their actual biological baby at the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital. Stay at home dad, journalist Pete Riley and his long term partner working in advertising, Maddie, are ...more
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For Pete Riley, freelance journalist and stay at home dad and partner Maddie who works in advertising, it’s just an ordinary day getting their boisterous son two year old Theo ready to go to nursery. Theo has difficulty ‘playing nice’ if he’s doesn’t get what he wants. Then their world is turned upside down, so much so it’s like they’ve fallen into some alternate universe following something as everyday as a knock at their door. Standing there is smugly arrogant, wealthy Miles Lambert who claims ...more
Guess what? Your son is not your son. He was switched at birth. But we want to work all this out amicably, k?”

Yeah... 😏 That’s my synopsis.

If you’re like me, you’d be like, “What the whaaaaaaat?” Yup, Pete and Maddie are living this. The Lamberts enter the picture, delivering the news that they are the biological parents of Theo while Pete and Maddie’s biological child is THEIR child David. (Head scramble). Pete and Maddie are then thrust into a bizarre situation, navigating unknown parental te
Susanne  Strong
Aug 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: buddy-read, netgalley
A Dilemma of Epic Proportions: Finding out the Son You’ve been Raising is Not Yours and that he was Switched at Birth!

That is the situation faced by Pete Riley and his wife Maddie in JP Delaney’s “Playing Nice” when Miles Lambert shows up on their doorstep and shatters everything. Miles and his wife Lucy have been raising David for two years and who they recently discovered was not theirs. After hiring a PI, they found out that the Riley’s were raising their biological child, Theo. Initially, b
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
4.5 stars, rounded up
The book’s blurb describes this as a parent’s worst nightmare and I think it’s probably true. What if you found out your child wasn’t your child? One afternoon, Pete opens the door to Miles and his lawyer. Miles has discovered that an accidental switch at the NICU has left each family with the other’s child. Playing Nice is very aptly named. The parents start off all agreeable and on the same wavelength. But it doesn’t take long for cracks to appear.
This book raises all sor
Aug 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't put it down. Believe the hype. ...more
3.5 stars

If you want to feel visceral frustration and anger towards almost every single secondary character's actions then this is the book for you. Very early on in the story Pete and Maddie find out that their son Theo was switched at birth (it's in the blurb) and then spend the rest of the time handling that situation. Which goes terribly wrong like 99.9% of the time with almost everyone set against them. After a while you just kept wondering what else could possibly go wrong, and then yet an
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars
4 stars

Swapping babies at birth has always been a huge fear of mine. I remember when I was young I used to ask my mother, “how could anyone know that they took the right baby home? I mean, what if something happened and your baby was swapped with another one?” She looked at me and said, “Oh things like that never happen!”

I guess that was a motherly denial as for her something like that was unimaginable, she couldn’t even think it’s a possibility. That’s why reading this book was an intense stre
Jul 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, 2020-releases
This book fucked me up so good I’m not even laughing. All the emotions and thrills are worth it. All the overwhelming hype surrounding JP Delaney’s Playing Nice are real and well deserved. No wasted moment. Right from the very beginning, I was invested and gripped with the whole story’s dilemma. Yes I know it could be slow at certain parts but reading a complex story about characters, you loved and got frustrated with, is just a magnificent time.

It’s almost 5 in the morning! Oh my.
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
Everyone makes mistakes. We all go through life making simple mistakes and also those that were not so simple. Although in most cases a mistake does not change the course of your life.

When a knock comes to the door at the home of Pete Riley and his partner Maddie, a mistake is revealed that will change their lives. For behind that knock is Miles Lambert bearing the news that the baby Pete and Maddie thought was theirs is not theirs at all. The hospital made a mistake and switched babies and now
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
5 Holy Cow Stars

This was one mind-spinning book and my first from J.P. Delaney. I found it compulsively readable and quite the page-turner! I read it in two sittings, I just had to get to the end! The premise is a fascinating one – how would you feel if someone showed up on your doorstep one morning and told you that you brought the wrong baby home from the hospital two years ago?

The gentleman on the doorstep is Miles Lambert, and he and his wife Lucy want to amicably work through things, get to
Elyse  Walters
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Audiobook... narrated by Ben Elliot, Amelia Cormack, Peter Forbes

I was in the mood for a psychological thriller... and picked this one based on the high ratings from the Goodreads community...
pegged as “one of the good ones”....
It was good - but exceptional? I wouldn’t go that far.

Things are so strange these days in my community - the sky is sooooo ugly filthy and dark ( ashes from fires)...that it looks we are living on Mars...
The apocalyptic life has arrived....
while listening to this
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who would have guessed that a story about swapped babies could be so gripping and compelling! While the premise could seem a bit trite, it's written in such a fantastic way that I found myself glued to the pages. I think my anxiety levels went through the roof at some points. I could feel the blood boiling in my veins as all the misfortunes happened to Pete and Maddie. I neither confirm nor deny that I maybe shouted at my kindle more than once.

I found very interesting the nature vs. nurture deba
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How do I review this book and do it justice? I will try....

Pete and Maddie have a good life with their 2 year old son Theo
All is fine and dandy
Until one afternoon Peter opens the door to Miles, and his solicitor, who inform him that their children, Theo and David, were swopped at birth....and here is the DNA proof
Talk about a bombshell
It’s hard to describe how utterly compelling the next 400 pages are suffice to say your emotions and feelings will be churned and flung around as you discover
L A i N E Y ~back in a bit~
Well this one is great. It literally got “everything”: there’s a mystery, there’s a large legal aspect to it, there’s an emotional part and there’s a psychopath! So what’s not to like?

The characters tended to be more trusting than I would have liked but they didn’t come off as naive or gullible as I’ve encountered in many of this genre so points for that.

I wouldn’t call this ‘thriller’ though, it’s heavily family drama/mystery/legal than actual thrill. And I love it.

I’m certainly picking up more
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Play Book Tag: Playing Nice by J. P. Delaney - 4 stars 1 5 May 01, 2021 05:34AM  
Maddie's secret? 2 27 Feb 25, 2021 08:50AM  
Switching of the children *SPOILER* 4 93 Feb 25, 2021 08:46AM  
Psychological Thr...: Playing Nice by J.P. Delany reading schedule 1 9 Sep 11, 2020 01:19PM  

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J. P. Delaney is the pseudonym of a writer who has previously published best-selling fiction under another name.

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“But there’s mounting evidence that many successful CEOs and politicians are actually psychopaths, too; or at least, fall somewhere on the psychopathic spectrum—that is, they score low on tests for remorse, conscience, and moral judgment, and high for fearlessness, quick thinking, and cold-bloodedness. And there are certain psychopathic traits that we know Miles has. Something called shallow affect, for example—having a very limited range of emotions. Getting bored easily. Impulsiveness. Charm. Not really caring about other people’s feelings, except as a tool to manipulate them by. Having very few long-term friends. Seeing life as a contest where, for you to win, others have to lose. And treating your children as trophies, flattering extensions of yourself.” 1 likes
“score low on tests for remorse, conscience and moral judgement, and high for fearlessness, quick thinking and cold-bloodedness” 0 likes
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