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Book Review: The Mistake I Made by Paula Daly

To be published in the UK on 27 August 2015, this third novel by the author of Just What Kind Of Mother Are You? and Keep Your Friends Close is an emotional roller coaster of a read. Think: Indecent Proposal meets Fatal Attraction via Sleeping With The Enemy. Then turn up the tension a couple of notches.

“Single mother Roz has a reached breaking-point. After the dissolution of her marriage, Roz’s business has gone under, debts are racking up, the rent is late (again), and she's struggling to provide for her nine-year-old son, who is starting to misbehave in school. Roz is in trouble. Real trouble.

When Roz returns home from work one day and finds an eviction notice, she knows that it’s time for action—she has two weeks to find a solution otherwise they will be kicked out of their home. Increasingly desperate, Roz doesn’t know where to turn. Then the perfect opportunity presents itself. At her sister’s fortieth birthday party, Roz meets Scott Elias—wealthy, powerful, and very married. But the impression Roz leaves on him is indelible. He tracks her down and makes Roz an offer to spend the night with him—for money. He wants no-strings-attached intimacy and can guarantee total discretion. Could it be as simple as it sounds? With that kind of cash, Roz could clear her debts and get her life back on track. But as the situation spirals out of her control, Roz is forced to do things she never thought herself capable of. Can she ever set things right again?”

The Mistake I Made was one of my most eagerly awaited reads of the year and it didn’t disappoint. Cleverly plotted and paced, the story kept me hooked throughout and I know it will stay in my mind for a long time. There is a distinct change of pace between the first and second halves of the book, but both are enjoyable and engaging. The character development in the first half draws the reader into Roz’s world and lays the foundation for the twisty psychological thriller that is Paula Daly’s speciality. The author’s previous career in physiotherapy lends an authenticity to Roz’s work life that I found fascinating.

Highly recommended for all psychological thriller fans.

Thank you to the publisher, via NetGalley, for the e-book proof copy to review.
Thanks also to Rhian Davies for my print copy, which I was lucky enough to have signed by the author at the Carlisle Crime Writing Weekend in June, along with my copies of Paula’s earlier books.

Written by  Tracey Walsh

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