Paula Daly’s debut novel was the subject of a bidding war between five different UK publishers and the publication has been eagerly awaited. Such hype is sometimes unwarranted, I’ve been disappointed in the past when books I just couldn’t wait for where a huge let down, not so in this case. The book is the story of a harassed mum of three called Lisa. (Boy, could I identify.) She works full-time at a kennel which re-homes surrendered and abandoned dogs and lives in a quiet village in the Lake District. Her husband drives a taxi, her oldest two kids are generally uncommunicative as teenagers can often be and her youngest at seven is growing up so fast. Lisa has made some friends amongst the other school mums and is particularly close to Kate whose children are of a similar age. Harassed and tired Lisa forgets about a prearranged sleepover for Kate’s daughter Lucinda, with her own daughter Sally. The next day Lucinda is reported missing. Lisa is devastated and feels entirely to blame. If only she was a perfect Mum like Kate and her sister, Alexa this would never have happened. Determined to find out what has happened to Lucinda and to right a wrong, Lisa starts to do some investigating of her own, but time is running out as Lucinda is not the first girl in the community to go missing and when a third girl disappears everyone begins to fear for Lucinda’s life. However as Lisa begins to peel away the layers of the town’s seemingly quiet and peaceful idyll she discovers all is not as it seems. This is an edge of the seat thriller perfect for fans of Gone Girl or Sister.
Just What Kind of Mother are You is published today by Bantam Press.