The Mistake I Made by Paula Daly


Synopsis: We all think we know who we are. What we’re capable of.

Roz is a single mother, a physiotherapist, a sister, a friend. She’s also desperate. Her business has gone under, she’s crippled by debt and she’s just had to explain to her son why someone’s taken all their furniture away. But now a stranger has made her an offer. For one night with her, he’ll pay enough to bring her back from the edge.  Roz has a choice to make.

Kat’s rating: 4/5

Kat’s Review: This latest release by Paula Daly although not a crime or thriller, is certainly one that delves into the dark and seedy world some people find themselves involved in. Roz is a single Mum and by all accounts the first few chapters introduce her and she is a very likeable character. What I liked about this was that she was ordinary, by that I don’t mean boring, just that lots of people know a woman just like Roz. She works hard to make ends meet, but in the end there is always something that crops up meaning she is left to make decisions that people wouldn’t like ot make such as feeding her son or paying her rent.

As a physiotherapist, she meets all sorts of characters and it was easy to fall into the routine of her life where she does the mundane and boring day to day thing, all the while her situation getting that little bit more precarious. As the chapters progress we also learn a little more about the last few years for Roz and why she finds herself in this current dilemma. What she didn’t bank on was her sister being the catalyst for her meeting a man that wants to make her an offer. Cue the Indecent Proposal moment where he offers her an easy way out.

It’s all well and good reading a book and passing judgement, but do you ever really know what you are capable of until you are faced with that exact situation. This is how the book is written and it’s portrayed incredibly well. Not only did I find myself sympathising with Roz, I was questioning what I would do if I was in the same situation.

As Roz makes a seemingly simple choice, she starts to see the knock on effect this has to her life. It also sets off a number of other events which make the book becoming even darker. Although this book may not be the most fast paced thriller I have read, it kept me gripped with the sheer ordinariness of Roz’s situation. I finished the book quickly and thoroughly enjoyed it. This book is certainly one to watch out for.

Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly


My Rating: 4/5

I received a copy of this book from the publishers some time ago. I actually took it on holiday as I thought it sounded a little bit different. The synopsis is probably most parents’ nightmares come true. Imagine leaving your child in a friends care, and then your child disappears? Who would you blame? Well this is exactly what happens to Lisa Kallisto the lead character in this book. As a debut novel from Paula Daly, I went in with an open mind, and by the time I had finished I was certain that I will read her future work!

Lisa Kallisto is an easy character to empathise with. She is a normal working mother with kids that have constant demands, a job that needs her attention and a husband to try and keep happy. When her daughter’s best friend Lucinda wants to stay the night she see’s no problems. The next morning when she goes off to work leaving the girls to their own devices, she has no idea that in a few short hours Lucinda will have vanished.

I really liked Lisa and her husband and from the very beginning could see that she was just an overworked Mum like thousands of other parents across the world. This book was set in Cumbria, which makes it all the more disturbing to read, as history has shown us what child abductors will do in the UK. We also meet the Detective on the case Joanna Aspinall who is a key character in the story. I think my main opinion of this story is that it is unsettling from start to finish. The thought drifts through your mind frequently that this could happen to you, or somebody you know.

The story is revealed in layers and we see Lisa start to unfold as the panic for Lucinda intensifies. I was really caught up in the story and loved the way it played out gradually. By the time I had got to the last quarter of the book I finished it in one sitting. This was an incredible book for a debut and I will certainly be keeping my eyes peeled for her next book.