A Mother's Lie by Sarah Zettel

ebook, 317 pages
Expected publication: April 7th 2020 by Grand Central Publishing
About the Book:
Beth Fraser finally has her life together. She's built a successful career in the tech sector, has a bright fifteen-year-old daughter, and she's completely erased all evidence of her troubled past. At least that's what she thought. Dana Fraser always wondered why she's the only kid with two backup phones, emergency drills, and a non-negotiable check-in time every single day. When a stranger approaches her on the street claiming to be her grandmother, Dana starts to question what else her mother has been hiding. Soon Beth's worst nightmare is coming true: Dana is in grave danger, and unless Beth is willing to pull one last con job for her parents, she may never see her daughter again.

This is the first book I've read by Sarah Zettel and holy cow, this book started with a bang and never let up. A Mother's Lie is a mystery within a mystery and this intensely suspenseful novel delivered exactly what I’ve come to love from books labeled as thrilling. To call this novel entertaining would be missing the point. It is interesting, absorbing, engaging and compelling. It is a great read with lessons to be learned and provides a meaningful message.

Ms. Zettel excels at characterization, capturing the essence of personality and portraying characters that are unique but also recognizable. The characters are never stagnant. We watch them evolve as the story moves on, and we also learn the hidden motivations driving their choices. One of my favorite aspects was how Zettel expertly captures the magnetic personality of a sociopath, who so easily draws others into the swirling vortex.

The plot is complex and masterful, beginning with a slow burn and gradually building intensity. Don't get too comfortable, because Zettel gives us a couple twists. Was this book over the top? YES! But in the most amazing way. I usually hate that in a book but Ms. Zettel did it campy perfectly. All. The. Stars.

Thank you NetGalley, Grand Central Publishing and Sarah Zettel for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own.



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