Review: The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy

Title: The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy
Publisher: Harper
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 336 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


An addictive psychological thriller about a group of women whose lives become unexpectedlyconnected when one of their newborns goes missing.

A night out. A few hours of fun. That’s all it was meant to be.

They call themselves the May Mothers—a group of new moms whose babies were born in the same month. Twice a week, they get together in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park for some much-needed adult time.

When the women go out for drinks at the hip neighborhood bar, they want a fun break from their daily routine. But on this hot Fourth of July night, something goes terrifyingly wrong: one of the babies is taken from his crib. Winnie, a single mom, was reluctant to leave six-week-old Midas with a babysitter, but her fellow May Mothers insisted everything would be fine. Now he is missing. What follows is a heart-pounding race to find Midas, during which secrets are exposed, marriages are tested, and friendships are destroyed.

Thirteen days. An unexpected twist. The Perfect Mother is a “true page turner.” —B.A. Paris, author of Behind Closed Doors


The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy is a riveting, suspense-laden mystery about the disappearance of a six week old baby.

A group of first time mothers form a mother’s group they dub the May Mothers because all of their due dates are in May. After everyone gives birth, they remain friends and support one another as they traverse the complicated changes their newborns bring to their lives. On July 4th, Francie Givens, Nell Mackey, Colette Yates and the only dad in the group, Token, convince single mom Winnie Ross to join them for a night out. With Nell’s prospective nanny Alma Romero watching Winnie’s baby, Midas, the group head out for a night of frivolous fun at a local bar. However, Winnie disappears at some point during the evening, leaving her phone and house key behind which Nell holds for safekeeping. Just as everyone is to head about home, Alma makes a shocking discovery: Midas is missing from his crib. With the police making little progress in the case, media scrutiny turns to the May Mothers who are launching their own investigation into what happened to Midas.

The chapters alternate between Francie, Nell, and Colette’s perspectives as they try to make sense of what happened to Midas and their own struggles with motherhood. Nell is unexpectedly called back into work before her maternity leave is scheduled to end and she is very concerned that her past might be uncovered during the investigation. Colette is falling farther and farther behind on a project with a looming deadline when she stumbles onto case files about Midas’s disappearance. Francie is fixated on Midas’s kidnapping and she continues to insert herself in the police investigation as she takes her suspicions about different suspects to the lead detectives assigned to the case. All of the women are initially extremely sympathetic to Winnie’s devastating loss, but as she keeps out of the public eye, they begin to wonder why she is so conspicuously absent.

Interspersed with their narrations are occasional chapters from an unknown person’s point of view. This woman is obviously part of the May Mothers’ group but her identity remains carefully shrouded in mystery.  As the story unwinds, she becomes increasingly fraught as she desperately tries to cling to someone who might be slipping away from her. Who is this woman and what, if anything, does she have to do with Midas’s disappearance?

The Perfect Mother  is an intricately-plotted mystery that is quite compelling. The characters are well-drawn and their lives with a newborn are realistically depicted.  Aimee Molloy does an absolutely outstanding job keeping the truth about what happened to baby Midas cleverly concealed until the novel’s shocking conclusion. Fans of the genre do not want to miss this outstanding fiction debut.

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