Her One Mistake

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 08 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

I couldn't put this one down.  Her One Mistake is a psychological thriller that jumps between the POV of the mother of a missing girl and the best friend who looked away for one second. The author did a nice job of revealing slowly, and even after I "figured it out" there was still a surprise or two left.  

*netgalley provided a free digital ARC
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Her One Mistake is every mother's nightmare...a missing child. Heidi Perks fast paced prose kept me turning the pages til the very end!
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Thank you NetGalley and Gallery Books for the opportunity to read and give an honest review of this book.  

Charlotte and Harriet are best friends and tell each other everything. Or do they? Charlotte takes Harriet’s daughter, Alice, and her own three children to the school fair. Alice mysteriously disappears. The community’s response is to treat Charlotte as though she were a criminal. As time goes on, we begin to see that Harriet’s husband appears to be ‘gaslighting’ her in an attempt to make her appear unreliable with memory problems. The not-so-perfect marriage of Harriet and Brian seems to contribute in some way to Alice’s disappearance, but how?

The plot is intriguing and you wonder what indeed happened to Alice.
The story is told from both Harriet and Charlotte’s point of view. Sometimes it would get confusing with the dialogue taking place ‘now, before, or afterwards’
One point in the story was not quite believable. Harriet would take 4 year old Alice to meet with and enjoy activities with Harriet’s father. (A person Brian believed to be dead.) Yet, the little girl never told her controlling father, Brian, any details about their various outings. She never even mentioned her grandfather. I have never met a 4 year old that could keep a secret or did not give information about their daily activities.

This was a good book and a wild, hard-to-put-down, ride. I highly recommend it.
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It's a fun book for airplanes, beaches, summer reading, etc. It moves right along and it has a wonderful twist. It's perfect for a diversion, which is something we all need at times. I quite enjoyed it and would recommend it for that reason. It's not great literature but it doesn't ask to be considered great literature, if that makes sense.
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Charlotte and Harriet, bound together forever by one sunny day when Harriet's child goes missing, and Charlotte is responsible. Twists and turns on every page and a surprise ending that you probably didn't see coming. Compelling plot, engaging characters make this a winner.
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Started out as a page turner very intense emotions.  As parent you could not help but examine what you would do in this situation.  About half way through the book it took a twist, which was decent but kind of left out some of the characters from the beginning.  It felt like 2 different books.  Still an enjoyable read but wish it did not have such a dramatic change.
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Worst case scenario, a child goes missing from the park when she is there with a mother’s friend. There are many layers to this and some things I didn’t see coming. However, it felt a little stale at times. It is still worth the read though.
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Losing a child in a crowd is any parent's nightmare. Charlotte ends up living this nightmare when she loses her best friend's only child at a fair. She was watching them. When she wasn't glancing down at her phone.

As police continue to investigate the disappearance, more questions end up raised. And, Harriett finds herself forced to reach out to Charlotte for help.

This suspense novel provides plenty of twists and turns while exploring not only the nightmare of losing a child but to what lengths a mother will go to protect their child.
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When a child goes missing it is a mother's worst nightmare, but the nightmare keeps building.  Satisfying thirller.
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Do we ever really know anyone?  It was going be a fun afternoon at the school fair.  Then she looked down to check her phone.  When she looked up, the friends daughter, whom she'd been watching, was gone.  Charlotte's life is turned inside out by Alice's disappearance.  I'm the time she spends trying to find Alice, something is wrong, there is something missing, besides Alice. There is a spectacular thrilling twisted end...definitely a good read.
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Her One Mistake was a fast-paced and engaging story that I very much enjoyed - it hooked me from the beginning.  It deals with the relationships between friends and between family and how you can never really know what happens behind closed doors. I enjoyed the portrayal of the complexity behind the women's friendship.  Exciting and fast read.
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I was less than impressed by this book. It seemed like it was a copy/mishmash of more successful books involving women and some sort of domestic peril. It seemed quickly written and not terribly well edited. I wish she had spent more time on it, the premise had promise.
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This book was so good! A strong emotional and psychological thriller when it comes to notion of what you would do to save and protect your daughter. The plot focuses on Charlotte and Harriet, two friends and Harriet's daughter Alice. The story picks up and gains fast momento when Charlotte takes Alice and her own children to a carnival and Alice ends up missing. The story switches from the past when Alice was taken, to events that happened prior to the carnival, and the present where Charlotte and Harriet are being interviewed by the police. Needless to say this was an engrossing and thrilling read. Some of it I did suspect to happen but honestly I didn't mind because the book was really well done. If you enjoy thrillers with some unexpected plot twists then definitely pick this one up!
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Received a digital ARC of this book via NetGalley.

Every mother’s nightmare. Parts of the story reminded me of Lapena’s The Couple Next Door. 

Didn’t care for the epilogue.
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I really enjoyed this book. It didn’t go anywhere near where I thought it would go but that was a nice surprise. I’ve seen people say this book is just like Gone Girl or Girl on a Train, and maybe a bit but since I didn’t care for either of those books to me this is its own story. I recommend this book!
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I got about halfway through this novel, but I couldn’t go on. I got so bored with the back and forth and nothing actually happening in the book. I didn’t even read the end but I can already guess who was behind it all.
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What an amazing debut novel!  I can't wait for the next Heidi Perks book to be written! This book cannot be put down.  Loved the writing and I totally did not see the twist that came in the middle of the book (I read a lot of suspense books and usually figure it out...but did not this time!)  Thank you for the advanced reader copy.  I will be recommending that our library purchase this title!
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A single mother of three offers to bring her friend’s younger daughter with her family to a school fair. The kids go in a bounce house and when they return, she notices her friend’s daughter Alice is not with her children. She notifies the police who begin an investigation. The book jumps between perspectives of the two women and time periods then (at the disappearance) and now. We start to learn that the mother’s (Harriett’s) life was not as perfect as it seemed. As the layers are peel back on their lives, the reader will see the abduction in a new light. But, is Alice in danger?
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A great mystery then a page turning thriller!   At first this book had me wondering if I was reading from an unreliable narrator.  I don’t spoil if this is true or not.  This book builds the suspense as it keeps going.  The story is told from the POV of Harriet, whose child goes missing, and Charlotte, Harriet’s friend, who was watching the child when she goes missing.  The POV go to before and after the event.  I liked the way the story was told.  The last 25% was thrilling and I was frantically trying to finish it before I had to leave.   Definitely hard to put down, especially the last third of the book.  I’ll definitely check out Heidi Peeks other books.  Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC!
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Besties and Brujas – Maggie & Shannon talk the Domestic Thriller
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Last year’s trend amongst suspense and mystery novels seemed to be the domestic thriller. Books like Lisa Jewel’s Then She Was Gone  or the outstanding Our House by Louise Candlish, focused on families in the middle of a dark crisis. Towards the end of the year, the focus seemed to be leaning more towards friends and the dangers inherent in trusting the wrong people with our secrets. That fad has continued into 2019, offering up some truly memorable, chilling books that expose the dark underside of the term ‘besties’.

Maggie: Most suspense tales have a mix of both family and friends but a friends or frenemies thriller has the action derive from the friendship. Would you agree?  What draws you to a best friend drama?

Shannon: I would definitely agree with this assessment. It’s hard to have a thriller that’s completely centered around either family or friends since both play pivotal roles in our lives. We can’t choose our families, but we do choose our friends, and this choice sometimes backfires. I love it when authors examine what happens when someone chooses the wrong friends, or when a solid friendship suddenly goes sideways.

Maggie: I felt the year got off to a really strong start with Her One Mistake by Heidi Perks, to which you gave an A in your review. It’s the story of Charlotte, who takes her friend Harriet’s daughter to the fair along with her own three kids. While the three older children play on an inflatable obstacle course, Charlotte deals with her youngest, glancing at Facebook posts on her phone while she waits. When Harriet’s little girl goes missing, all hell breaks loose and the community turns on the popular Charlotte with a vengeance.  One thing I felt the author showcased very well was the give and take of women’s friendships. How we become embroiled in each other’s lives through our simple kindnesses to each other. I’ll add that I felt one of the two characters was someone I would most definitely not want in my life. What did you think?

Shannon: Her One Mistake is definitely one of the high points of my 2019 reading. It was a book I hated to put down, one that compelled me to keep reading, even when I had other things that needed to be done. That doesn’t happen to me with all thrillers, so it’s a real treat when an author can manage to hook me in so completely.

Maggie: My other missing child book this year was She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge. This is more of a police procedural which revolves around a group of seven friends who go into the woods – and emerge as a group of six. It wasn’t quite as intense as Her One Mistake but it is a deeply riveting story nonetheless. Do you have any other novels you’d recommend with that theme from the past six months?

Shannon: She Lies In Wait is one I haven’t read, but I’ve heard a ton of great things about it. I’m hoping to get to it soon. I haven’t read any other missing child books that involve friends over the past few months, but I’m always on the lookout for more.

Maggie: I Invited Her In by Adele Parks which came out in February explores the theme of friends who reunite with disastrous results. One of the things I thought the author did really, really well in this book is create a believable friendship between the two protagonists. With many stories I find myself wondering how the two women became friends to begin with but with these ladies I understood their dynamic almost instantly. Which made it far more chilling to me when everything started to unravel. What did you think of the dynamic between Mel and Abi?

Shannon: It’s frustrating when the friendship that is supposed to drive the plot forward doesn’t feel convincing. Fortunately, that wasn’t at all my experience with I Invited Her In. Mel and Abi had a very authentic relationship. I understood the highs and lows they experienced over the years, and when things did start to go south, I kept hoping they could find a safe, healthy way to sort things out. There was something so compelling about the way they used to relate to each other, and I really wanted them to be able to reclaim that feeling.

Maggie: I agree, although I don’t know that it would ever have been possible after some of what happened. My other friend-visit-turned-nightmare novel is You Were Made For This by Michelle Sacks. It’s a far darker, more disturbing story but fans of grim, twisty tales about sinister characters will love it.  Do you have any other recent recommendations along this line?

Shannon: Girls Night Out by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke kind of fits into this category. It’s the story of three best friends who go on vacation in the hopes of patching up their differences, but one of them ends up disappearing while on the trip. The reader is left wondering if her friends had something to do with her disappearance. It’s one of those books where the reader has absolutely no idea who to trust.

Maggie: Girls Night Out is on my TBR list.  Changing pace, lest we have anyone thinking the best thing to do would be to purge the contact list on their phone, let’s talk about the dangers of not having friends. In An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen bad circumstances have forced Jessica Farris into a lifestyle of isolation, aside from her one bestie. She doesn’t mind this solitary existence but it does lend itself to a situation which leaves her vulnerable to a powerful protagonist. I found Jessica a very interesting person, a mix of strong and susceptible, generous and desperate. What did you think of her?

Shannon: Pekkanen and Hendricks really hit the ball out of the park with An Anonymous Girl. I had no clue what to expect going in, and I was completely entranced by the story. Jessica is a heroine we could so easily encounter in our daily lives, and those are honestly some of my favorite types of protagonists. It’s nice to read about someone who doesn’t have mad skills that set them apart from the rest of the world.

Maggie: I agree. Another book I felt highlighted that a lack of friends can be every bit as dangerous as having the wrong one was The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Becquets. In this novel, Marian works with rescue dogs in remote locations. She has many acquaintances but the people who work the job tend not to be gregarious or close, preferring nature to nurture. Which leaves the lovely Marian to become prey to the worst kind of predator. Do you have any other recommendations for this trope?

Shannon: This isn’t a really recent release, but Cass Green’s In a Cottage in a Wood features an isolated heroine who has hit rock bottom. She inherits a run-down cottage in a remote part of the English countryside, and she decides to spend some time there to lick her proverbial wounds. Of course, things don’t turn out to be as peaceful and serene as she’s hoping for, and her isolation plays a huge role in what happens next. It’s an incredibly creepy and atmospheric story that I’m more than happy to recommend.

Maggie: I’m adding that to my list! Let’s end on a positive note and talk about friends who help. A popular theme is the tale of the investigative friend.  In Three Little Lies by Laura Marshall a roommate launches an investigation to find her missing friend – and find out why she’s disappeared.  I thought Ellen, the main protagonist of the tale, was also very representative of the clingy friend. She seemed to always need someone’s coat-tail to hang on. What did you think of Ellen and her style of friendship?

Shannon: I’m fortunate not to have had someone like Ellen in my life. She definitely took way more than she ever gave in return, and I found myself frustrated by her selfishness. Of course, people like this do exist in the world, and I found Marshall’s representation of this type of friendship to be pretty spot-on.

Maggie:  Another story that revolves around a friend who investigates and discovers a lot more than she bargained for is Camryn King’s Triple Threat about Mallory Knight, a young lady that won’t accept her best friend committed suicide. She launches an investigation to discover just what happened, uncovering some surprising secrets along the way. Do you have any other recommendations with this trope?

Shannon: Again, I’m reaching back a few years for this one, but K.A. Tucker’s He Will Be My Ruin is a must read if you enjoy this trope. It sounds pretty similar to Triple Threat in that our heroine learns her best friend has committed suicide, something she has a hard time accepting. She starts digging into her friend’s life and uncovers all kinds of unexpected things. Tucker’s writing is super compelling, and I loved every second of this story.

Maggie: I’ll have to check into that one, too! Thanks for talking mysteries with me. It’s been a lot of fun!

Shannon: You’re very welcome. Mysteries are some of my very favorite things, so I’m always happy to rhapsodize about the ones I’ve loved.
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