Title: Her One Mistake by Heidi Perks
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
What should have been a fun-filled, carefree day takes a tragic turn for the worse for one mother when her best friend’s child goes missing in this suspenseful, compulsively readable, and darkly twisted psychological thriller.
It all started at the school fair…
Charlotte was supposed to be looking after the children, and she swears she was. She only took her eyes off of them for one second. But when her three kids are all safe and sound at the school fair, and Alice, her best friend Harriet’s daughter, is nowhere to be found, Charlotte panics. Frantically searching everywhere, Charlotte knows she must find the courage to tell Harriet that her beloved only child is missing. And admit that she has only herself to blame.
Harriet, devastated by this unthinkable, unbearable loss, can no longer bring herself to speak to Charlotte again, much less trust her. Now more isolated than ever and struggling to keep her marriage afloat, Harriet believes nothing and no one. But as the police bear down on both women trying to piece together the puzzle of what happened to this little girl, dark secrets begin to surface—and Harriet discovers that confiding in Charlotte again may be the only thing that will reunite her with her daughter….
This breathless and fast-paced debut—perfect for fans of Big Little Lies and The Couple Next Door—takes you on a chilling journey that will keep you guessing until the very last page.
Her One Mistake by Heidi Perks is a spellbinding mystery about a kidnapped little girl.
Charlotte Reynolds is delighted she finally convinced her friend Harriet Hodder to allow her to babysit her four year old daughter, Alice. Charlotte takes Alice, along with her three children ten year old Jack, six year old Molly and 3 year old Evie, to a school fair. Alice, Jack and Molly head off to an inflatable slide and much to Charlotte’s horror, her kids safely return but Alice is missing. The police investigation turns up no leads and Harriet and her husband Brian make a desperate plea for any information about Alice. Charlotte becomes increasingly isolated as public opinion toward her changes from sympathetic to blame for not paying close enough attention to the children. As the days pass with no news about Alice, will the police find the missing girl?
On the surface, Charlotte and Harriet appear to be unlikely friends due to their many differences. Charlotte is a divorced mom who works a couple of days a week and lives in an affluent neighborhood. Charlotte’s house is sometimes a little chaotic, but with three kids, this is understandable. She also has a wide circle of friends and enjoys participating in several group activities.
After giving birth to Alice, Harriet gave up her job to become a stay at home mom. The house she shares with Brian is small, dark and a little oppressive but it is always neat and tidy. Her best (and only) friend is Charlotte and while she always lends a sympathetic ear, Harriet does not reveal much about herself or her marriage. Harriet is quite distraught as she awaits new information about Alice’s fate and she greatly appreciates family liaison officer Susanne Rawlings’ comforting presence.
The chapters alternate between Charlotte and Harriet’s points of view and switch back and forth between events in the present and the time period right after Alice vanishes. Charlotte is of course devastated that Alice disappeared while in her care. She is also quite upset about her friends’ less than sympathetic reaction in light of new information. Harriet feels like the walls are closing in as days pass without any leads about Alice’s disappearance. Brian appears to be equally distressed about his missing daughter but some of his behavior toward Alice is rather disturbing. Entries from Harriet’s journal provide stunning insight into her marriage during the year prior to Alice’s disappearance.
With underlying themes of friendship and secrets, Her One Mistake is an engrossing mystery with a riveting storyline and a cast of mostly likable characters. The changes in perspective are seamless and easy to follow. The suspense builds to a fever pitch as the chapters alternate between what is occurring in the present and what happened during the previous thirteen days. With several shocking twists and jaw-dropping turns, Heidi Perks brings this incredible novel to a thrilling conclusion. An outstanding mystery that I greatly enjoyed and highly recommend to fans of the genre.