Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Perfect Mother

The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy
HarperCollins Publishers: 5/1/18
eBook review copy; 336 pages
ISBN-13: 9780062696793

The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy is a highly recommended debut thriller/mystery featuring a group of new mothers.

The May Mothers are an informal group of Brooklyn based new moms (and one dad) whose children were all born in May. They meet twice a week in Prospect Park for camaraderie and to share their concerns. On the 4th of July three of the mothers, Nell Mackey, Colette Yates, and Francie Givens, along with Token, the nickname of the only male, plan an adult's only night out at a local bar. They persuade single mom Winnie Ross into attending by arranging for Nell’s nanny, Alma, to watch Winnie’s son, Midas.

The evening's drinking begins and before the night is over Winnie's son, Midas is missing, abducted from his crib. The police and media scrutiny uncovers all manner of secrets from Winnie's past and begin to focus on the mother's group too. Nell, Colette, and Francie don't believe the police are handling the investigation correctly, so they begin to do their own investigation into what happened. The novel unfolds during thirteen nerve wracking days as the police and the May Mother's conduct their own investigations.

As expected, the information that comes out about everyone during an investigation of a missing child can be startling and finger-pointing and speculation will abound. The chapters in the novel open with emails sent to the May Mothers by a website called The Village. The chipper rather self-satisfied emails all contain general advice on babies' milestones and raising children, which fits in nicely with the narrative based on these new mothers.

The Perfect Mother is an easy to read and follow novel and should engross most readers. I will admit I didn't care quite as much about the baby-raising-talk as a younger parent might, because baby-raising days are far behind me. What this means is that I focus more on the satisfaction I find from the quality of the writing, plot, character development, mystery, and the eventual conclusion. Molloy did quite good on all these points. The narrative does slow down a bit in the second half of the novel, right when you are desperate for more action, which may find some impatient readers skimming the novel for a quicker pace.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers.

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