Thursday, November 20, 2014

THE WRONG MOTHER by Sophie Hannah (fic)

I have not read a Sophie Hannnah mystery before, but she has her followers who await each book with anticipation. I found the book has an interesting plot and could have been a much better book than it turned out to be.  

The story opens with the death of Geraldine Bretherick and her young daughter.  Nearby a journal was found that may or may not belong to the dead woman.  What the journal reveals is a woman stressed out with the demands of motherhood and the boredom of keeping house.  She may or may not have murdered her daughter and then committed suicide.  A second plot line involves Sally Thorning who is the narrator of the story.  Sally, also in a moment of stress, trying to juggle the demands of work and raise a small daughter, becomes involved in a brief affair with a man she knows as Mark Bretherick, who may or may not be the husband of the dead Geraldine.  Somehow Sally finds herself in the middle of a police investigation and proceeds to become more interested in solving the mystery than attending to her work and family.  This leads to big trouble for Sally.

The beginning of the book is interesting and shows promise.  To my disappointment, the characters are never well-developed and their actions and dialog do not ring true.   I gather this is not the first time that Sophie Hannah has written about the stress of motherhood.  Is it really as difficult as she makes it out to be?  Not only did I find the main characters uninteresting as people, but the police on the case appear to be woefully incompetent, at times buffoonish.  

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