The Guilty Mother by Diane Jeffrey
ebook, 456 pages
Published May 18th 2021 by Harper 360/HQ Digital
About the Book:
Melissa Slade had it all: beauty, money, a successful husband and beautiful twin babies. But, in the blink of an eye, her perfect life became a nightmare – when she found herself on trial for the murder of her little girls. Jonathan Hunt covered the original Slade Babies' case for the local newspaper. Now that new evidence has come to light, Jon's boss wants him back on the story to uncover the truth. With Melissa's appeal date looming, time is running out. And, as Jon gets drawn deeper into a case he’d wanted to forget, he starts to question Melissa's guilt. Is Melissa manipulating Jon or telling him the truth? Is she a murderer, or the victim of a miscarriage of justice? And if Melissa Slade is innocent, what really happened to Ellie and Amber Slade?
Whoa. This was NOT what I expected. It enticed and cajoled, had me skipping blissfully down the path and then turned everything I thought I knew on its head. Lots of secrets, heartache and tragedy. I loved everyone, I loved that every single character was unreliable in one way or another. I didn’t know who to trust, and I felt like my head was spinning trying to keep up with them. (In the best way possible). I loved the formatting, the Parts 1, 2, and the epilogue, the alternating characters, the alternating between past, and present. The insights you get to Kelly, Jon, and of course Melissa. It was quite literally the best guessing game I have ever played. This was like a puzzle, and I had the pleasure of piecing this incredible story together.
There was so much complexity to this story, it wasn’t just a simple read. Everyone had a tragic, dark history, and even saying that, once I got to the end, I was completely blindsided, I was for sure I had it figured out, happy to say, I was way off course! I am so happy that the ending was so unexpected, and nothing I could have ever predicted. This one left me with opposite feelings than what I anticipated. I enjoyed the intrigue and the shocks and thought the story-line was carefully planned.
If this author intended to create a story that is sure to elicit strong reactions, she succeeded. Your reaction will depend on what type of reading you enjoy, but make no mistake, you will have one, likely shock and confusion, but I doubt you’ll be ambivalent.
Thank you NetGalley, Diane Jeffrey and Harper 360/HQ Digital for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own.