Amy is the Queen Bee in the perfect life she’s created for herself. She’s got the perfect hard-working, successful, handsome husband and two gorgeous, popular young daughters. Her circle of friends clearly see her as the centre of their little group, and the school moms all look to her for inspiration for all things required on that front. Life is good in her world. She’s pulled herself out of her troubled upbringing and the traumatic events of her past and if there are certain things about her that may seem slightly unhinged at times, these are easily overlooked, especially by those closest to her. After all, aren’t we all a little bit odd at times?
And then, wholly unexpected and entirely unwelcome, into the midst of Amy’s carefully constructed kingdom comes Charlotte. Unconventional and unwilling to conform, looking for her own escape and security for herself and her daughter in suburbia – a territory that is unfamiliar to her – Charlotte is initially unaware that she’s overturned the applecart.
It’s brought to her attention extremely fast though, and from that moment on it’s all-out war! As Amy becomes progressively more aggressive and paranoid, attempting to involve her friends and family in her battle to oust Charlotte from their community, there’s a real attacker stalking the streets, causing increased fear amongst everyone.
Told from the points of view of Charlotte, Amy, and her people-pleasing best friend Rachel, this is a dark story about how deeply fears and past traumas, when left unchecked, can develop into paranoia. It’s a close look at relationships and the lengths that people are willing to go to for those they love: what they’re willing to tolerate, what they’re prepared to overlook, and where they draw the lines at what’s unacceptable.
Cathryn Grant has crafted a gripping tale of suburban noir that one can easily picture being played out in one’s own schoolyard. The drama, the angst, the one-upmanship … she just takes it a few steps further, a few shades darker, a few nudges closer to the edge of sanity. One never knows what’s lurking behind the facade that people carefully place over the cracks that are developing just below the surface. Her characters are believable – not always likable, but they’re very real. They are broken and they don’t know how to heal so it’s easier for them to show the ugliness of their scars to the world.
This is a 4-star read. It’s often disturbing, sometimes even chilling, but it’s certainly a page-turner!
Cathryn is the author of the Alexandra Mallory Psychological Suspense series, Psychological Thrillers, Suburban Noir novels, The Haunted Ship Trilogy, and the Madison Keith Ghost Story series. The Good Mother will be her second novel published with Inkubator Books.
Cathryn’s fiction has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazines, The Shroud Quarterly Journal, and The Best of Every Day Fiction. When she’s not writing, Cathryn reads fiction, eavesdrops, and tries to play golf without hitting her ball into the sand or the water. She lives on the Central California coast with her husband and two cats.
Thank you to Emma Welton on Damp Pebbles Blog Tours for inviting me along for this one! Take a look at what other bloggers are saying about The Good Mother …