Her One Mistake

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 08 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

Heidi Perks is going to be on my list as a favorite from now on with her incredible story Her One Mistake. This was a psychological thriller that kept me guessing every step of the way. I even gasped a few times while reading because I was taken so off guard by a twist here or a turn there.

The story follows two people; Charlotte, the mom who lost another mom’s kid at a carnival, and Harriet, super protective and mostly unliked mother in the neighborhood. Both are going through ordeals all stemming from the missing daughter of Harriet. Charlotte is being blacklisted among her friends and Harriet is all alone with just her husband for support, and he’s a little weird, if I do say so.

Every character in this book played a pertinent role in the story. The supporting cast, including Harriet’s husband, Charlotte’s best friend, estranged family members, and the town gossip all brought so much more to the story and helped form this elaborate vision in my head as I read. I think Heidi Perks wrote characters that were not only interesting, but also mysterious and filled with depth. They all had their own little secrets that just emphasized all the questions swirling around as we read. Each time I thought I had an inkling of what was going on, Perks through out a twist that had me questioning everything. I never would have guessed the ending in a million years.

One of my favorite parts to read was Harriet’s relationship with her husband. I enjoy when an author can bring out specific emotions in me as I read, and Perks made me uncomfortable to the extreme with Harriet’s husband. He was super doting and seemed to care a great deal for Harriet, but at times I found myself incredibly uncomfortable with his behavior. I loved that Perks was able to make me feel that emotion so strongly.

Her One Mistake is a mystery/thriller, but I also feel it falls heavily into women’s fiction. So if you like women’s fiction with a little kick, pick up Her One Mistake. You won’t be disappointed. It will make you question, “What would I have done?” Pick up your copy and let me know what you think.
Was this review helpful?
Wow, what a roller coaster ride this book was for me!  Heidi Perks new novel Her One Mistake is a psychological thriller that centers on one of every parent’s worst nightmares – a missing child.  The story follows Harriet and Charlotte, best friends and mothers who have children about the same age.  Harriet, a somewhat overprotective mother, has never let her four-year-old daughter Alice out of her sight prior to the day she allows Charlotte to take Alice to the school fair with her own children.  Charlotte knows what a huge deal it is that Harriet is entrusting her with caring for Alice and vows to be worthy of the trust that has been placed in her.

When the unthinkable happens, however, and Alice goes missing at the school fair, Charlotte turns the place upside looking for her. When it becomes clear that Alice is no longer on school grounds, the police get involved and begin a search.  They are quick to act because another young child had gone missing several months ago and still hadn’t been located so the fear that a predator may be on the loose in their community is all too real.

Charlotte is truly devastated.  She is crushed, not just because Alice was in her care when she went missing, but also because she doesn’t even want to think about how distraught Harriet will be.  This will surely spell the end of their friendship, even if Alice is found safe and sound.

After she finds out about her missing daughter, Harriet refuses to even speak to or see Charlotte. She and her husband blame Charlotte exclusively for what has happened, as do all of their mutual friends and apparently most people on the internet who are discussing the incident.

As the police investigation ramps up, however, secrets, lies and some ugly truths begin to surface.  As we move closer to the truth about what has happened to Alice and who is responsible, it becomes clear that nothing is as it originally seemed.

Characters.  I found both Charlotte and Harriet to be very sympathetic characters. As a parent, I know how devastating it would be to find out my child was missing, and I also know I would never forgive myself if I was entrusted with the care of one of my friends’ children and they went missing while in my care.

Not only was it easy to sympathize with these characters, but it was also very easy to imagine them as real people.  They are flawed and messy and some of the problematic scenarios they find themselves in are of their own making.  Part of the reason Charlotte is so widely blamed, for example, is because while she was supposed to be watching the children at the fair, she was also posting on her Facebook account.  So everyone who follows her on there, knows she was at least somewhat distracted while the kids were playing.

Pacing and Perspective.  I loved the pacing of Her One Mistake.  It’s set up from the perspective of both Harriet and Charlotte and we hear from each of them as we go through the lead up to Alice going missing, the initial search and immediate fallout, the police investigation, and then the subsequent larger fallout as we get closer to the truth.  Seeing first hand what is going through the minds of both Charlotte and Harriet not only had my own emotions all in knots, but it also painted such a full picture of what was going on by presenting it from both sides.  The chapters were short but powerful, and I just flew through the pages because I needed to know the truth.

Suspense and Tension.  Perks did a phenomenal job of ratchetting up the tension and suspense the further we get into the story.  There was one character in particular I had a bad feeling about from the first moment they were introduced.  I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it was that bothered me, but every time they appeared on the page, my skin crawled.  I hated the character but loved that the author had me on the edge of my seat waiting to see if this character would turn out to be a monster or not.

Dark but Relevant Themes.  And finally, I liked the wide range of themes Her One Mistake touched on.  Be forewarned that this is in no way a fluffy read though.  It explores some dark topics like abuse, isolation, deception, desperation, and there is a big focus on friendships, both in terms of how such a tragedy can strain or even ruin friendships, and in terms of fair weather friends who abandon you at the first sign of trouble.

I don’t have any real complaints about the novel at all, although I did feel that there were a couple of loose ends that I would have liked some closure on.  I can’t speak to what they are for spoiler reasons, but if you read it, you’ll probably figure out the ones I’m referring to.

Overall, I found Her One Mistake to be a riveting and compulsively readable thriller.  I binge-read it in just a couple of sittings and found myself immediately going to Goodreads to see what else Heidi Perks has written. She is definitely an author that I look forward to reading more from. If you’re a fan of Liane Moriarty or Sally Hepworth’s domestic thrillers, I think Her One Mistake might be right up your alley as well.
Was this review helpful?
4.25 stars

Harriet allows her friend Charlotte to watch her daughter for an afternoon. Somehow her daughter Alice vanishes. Charlotte fells horrible and public opinion makes her feel even worse. Harriets husband Brian is watching everything and looking for someone to blame.
Heidi Perks touched on a few different subjects. This was close to being a 5 star read. I was wrapped up in the story until the last page.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars

  This book asks some really hard questions. What would you do if you were watching a friend's child and they disappeared? How badly would you feel especially when it's discovered you were reading Facebook posts at the moment she disappeared at a school event? Would you be insulted if your friends stopped asking you to babysit?

  And how far would you go to protect your child? What if the only solution was unbearable? How did you get yourself in this situation? How could you let it go this far? How much strain would you put on a friendship.

  This is the story of Charlotte and Harriet and a missing child, Alice. It has a lot of twists and turns and kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. It reads like it was meant to be a movie which I am sure it will be. It kept me entertained the entire time.

  Thanks to Net Galley for a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.
Was this review helpful?
What a great start to the new year with this amazing psychological thriller. I was pleasantly surprised by this book.  What I thought was just about a missing girl turned out to be much much more. I got sucked in by Alice's kidnapping, and was held there by the strange relationship between Harriet and her husband and the blame and disdain Charlotte was receiving. All of this combined together to make this a creepy, wild ride. 

As pieces fell into place I still couldn't see how it would end and even now that I know it gives me chills. Well written, well woven and interesting. This is about secrets, and how well you may know even your best friend.
Was this review helpful?
The novel opens with Charlotte Reynolds preparing to give a statement to the police. It's a device for starting a narrative, but also flags that we can expect to read Something Horrible in the near future. 
Thirteen days earlier, Charlotte took her three children to a school fair. She also took little Alice, the daughter of Harriet, her best friend. Harriet was taking Charlotte updates her online status at a critical moment, and Alice disappears. The police are summoned, and the child is nowhere to be found. Harriet and her husband are notified, and Charlotte must endure not only condemnation from the public (her posting on social media is soon discovered), but her own guilt for letting her best friend down.
This book kept surprising me. The author and setting are both British, so I expected to plow through a lot of setting the scene and character introduction. The first few pages provide this information, including a bit of tension between Charlotte and ex-husband Tom, but the action--and seeds of doubt--begin early.
Harriet was taking a course in bookkeeping. This is why Charlotte had Alice with her in the first place. This seems very normal, but Brian, Harriet's husband, is surprised. He hadn't been told. Why?
Heidi Parks is an artist at giving out one piece of information at a time, shifting the reader's idea of the truth again and again. Secret after secret is revealed, pulling the reader deeper into the well of mental games, broken relationships, and murder. I kept picking up echoes of Gaslight and Bunny Lake is Missing, and was delighted.
I received a free NetGalley ARC in exchange for an honest review. My honest review is that Her One Mistake is a great read, and I recommend it to readers who enjoy psychological suspense.
Was this review helpful?
Her One Mistake by Heidi Perks is a psychological thriller that will suck you in.  Lives are irrevocably changed when Alice, Charlotte's best friends daughter, goes missing on Charlotte's watch.  This has to be everyone's worst nightmare.  This book and these characters will grab you by your heart, it is completely engrossing.  Your heart will break for these characters.  The dark and twisted secrets are an added bonus.  This was the first book by Heidi Perks that I have read and it wont be the last.
Was this review helpful?
You've convinced your best friend that you will baby sit her only child and watch her like the own. Then in the blink of an eye, Alice is missing. Oh, the guilt Charlotte felt when no one can find Alice but was it really her fault? Something is a little off with Harriet and Brian, Alice's parents. It seems that everyone has a secret in this psychological thriller. Recommended!
Was this review helpful?
Talk about a psychological thriller.  This story was captivating, gut wrenching, thought provoking and not one that I would have imagined myself actually enjoying.  However, I did.  Granted, the story was so hard to get my heart wrapped around.  It started slow, in my opinion, however if you stay the course it does pick up.  I couldn’t help but put myself in each of the characters shoes.  What if my friend lost my daughter?  What if I lost my friends daughter?  Lord help me if I didn’t gain a few gray hairs outta this one, and for me that is saying something as I read horror and mystery all day long.  With this topic it made it all more stressfull for me. 

GIve it a chance, and I think you will find the ending quite satisfying.  It is not one of those reads that leave you hanging, which would have made me beyond furious! 

Enjoy!  And Thanks for the advance read!
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to Gallery Books and Netgalley for a copy of the eARC in exchange for a fair review.


Charlotte has finally got Harriet to let her watch Alice. So as she heads out the the fair with her three kids and Alice she doesn't realize this is going to be the worst day ever. At first everything is fine, but as the kids head off the Jungle Run and Charlotte takes her eyes off of them for one minute it all changes. She sees Jake and Molly, but their is no sign of Alice.


Charlotte frantically begins searching for Alice and calling the police, but no one can find Alice. It is a person's worst nightmare being entrusted to watch someone else's child and losing them. Charlotte feels so guilty. Then the online attacks begin, and a journalist finds out about the time Charlotte lost Jake..


Wow I did not see this one coming, like I thought I knew what it would be about, and then I thought it was something else, and then I thought this and by the time I got what was going on my mind was blown. I couldn't believe it, and I was hooked. I raced through this, I had to know what was going to happen. 


Like I want to rant and rave about this, but I can't mention some things because it would be major spoilers, but I want to say kudos to the author for using this type of situation to expose a certain type of behavior that is so insidious we often overlook it. I know that is like so cryptic, but if you read this you will understand that statement in the end. I think if you like suspense, thrillers or mysteries you should read this one.
Was this review helpful?
I unexpectedly had to take a break from reading this book; so don't let how long it took me to finish deter you. This was a good read, easy but engaging and had a twist I didn't see coming but made me stop and think back. This was the first book I've read by this author and was lucky enough to get an ARC, but I would absolutely recommend this!
Was this review helpful?
Many thanks to NetGalley, Gallery Books, and Heidi Perks for the opportunity to read this thriller - it kept me glued until the end - a 5 star read!

A parent's worse nightmare - Charlotte is at a crowded school fair with her 3 children and a friend's daughter.  She turns away for a moment while the older kids go on a ride and just that quick, the friend's daughter is gone.  Panic sets in, of course, but no one can find Alice anywhere.  Charlotte has to tell her friend, Harriet, that her daughter is missing.  Harriet was exceptionally close to Alice and this was the first time she had left Alice with someone else - Charlotte was her only friend in town.  Soon both Harriet and the town turn against Charlotte.

Enough said because all the dynamics of these relationships need to play out as you read it for full effect.  There were moments when I gasped out loud at the plot twists.  The story is told in the voices of both Charlotte and Harriet in both Now and Before.

Highly recommended!
Was this review helpful?
It's impossible to know what you would do if you lost one of your children. It's even harder to think of what you would do if you were trusted with someone else's child and they were taken. Her One Mistake follows several paths, but they all relate to the disappearance of Alice from the school fair. She was under the watch of her mother's friend, Charlotte, who just looked away for a minute and Alice was gone. 

Twisty, mind boggling and sometimes spooky, Her One Mistake is a satisfying thriller that will leave you wondering if things will ever be all right again.
Was this review helpful?
What is it about a missing child premise that always intrigues me?! It’s one of my biggest fears as a parent, yet it always grabs my attention and this one more than grabbed my attention, it consumed me, I seriously could not put it down! I read it in two sittings in one afternoon and even my husband interrupted and said, wow you’re really into this one aren’t you Amy?! I just nodded and shushed him because, yes I am haha!

While I love a missing child storyline I’m always so excited when an author puts their own unique spin on the premise and Perks did just that. Imagine being in charge of your best friends daughter and then losing the child, how guilty and absolutely wretched would you feel? That’s the case for Charlotte and I truly felt sorry for her, there’s nothing you can do and surely nothing you can say to make things better in such a situation. Then poor Harriet, not knowing where her little girl is destroys her and I felt just as bad for her as I did for Charlotte. This flips back and forth between both women’s POV and I was really invested in both of their lives.

This is where I stop discussing even the most minor of plot details because things went in SO many unexpected directions that I don’t even want to hint at a possible spoiler. There are secrets galore and jaw dropping twists, I really didn’t see any of them coming, but I also wasn’t playing detective and looking too closely because I was entirely wrapped up in every single page. What a gripping read, it was incredibly well done, intense and complex, highly recommended!!

Her One Mistake in three words: Compulsive, Secretive and Twisty.
Was this review helpful?
This book was full of mystery and suspense. Told in alternating timelines with alternating characters, it was a gripping story right from the beginning. As a mother reading it I think I was even more involved in the story to have a child go missing is a terrifying thing. The author does a nice job of revealing the details of the incident in both the past and present. This was a hard one to put down! Thank you not galley for this advanced readers copy exchange for my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
Her One Mistake was gripping and mysterious with the suspense building as the pages went on!  I enjoyed the way that nothing seemed the way it really was and at the same time that some things were the way they seemed.  Harriet lets her close friend Charlotte take her daughter Alice for the day so she can go to a class.  Charlotte takes her children along with Alice to the school fair.  The children run to get on a tumble playworld and when they get off Alice isn’t with them.  Quickly the police are on the scene but can’t find Alice and don’t have any leads on her.  Charlotte is filled with guilt because Alice disappeared while she was watching her.  Harriet is full of guilt also because this is the first time that she left Alice with anyone else and she trusted Charlotte to take care of her.  The whole situation is even worse, because recently a little boy went missing and still hasn’t been found.  As the police question and examine Harriet and Charlotte and their families, everyone falls apart.  Harriet is full of grief and anger about what happened.  Charlotte is gull of guilt and upset at how everyone is treating her now.  We start to see bits and pieces of Charlotte and Harriet’s lives as the days pass by after Alice goes missing.  The storyline quickly becomes twisted with everyone’s secrets becoming more known.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 This had many twists and turns. It captured the fear and self-doubt when one of the characters loses a child during her care. The feeling of overwhelming fear is there and after that moment the story is on. 

With this happening, we are taken on a ride which has its ups and downs... but in the end, we are given all the answers.
Was this review helpful?
Get this book, today! Don't wait. Her One Mistake by Heidi Perks is a non-stop chilling ride that hooked me until the end. I read this in one day. Seriously great.
Charlotte and Harriett are unlikely best friends, Charlotte is outgoing and has lots of friends and is in a better financial position while Harriett is quiet and struggling financially. Harriett NEVER leaves her daughter with anyone - NEVER - but she needs childcare on a Saturday for a bookkeeping class and agrees to let Charlotte watch her daughter, Alice.
But tragedy strikes, Alice disappears when in Charlotte's care. Charlotte and Harriett are both devastated, their village is scared - what happened to Alice? How will Charlotte and Harriett react? How will their friends respond? It's insanely difficult to imagine losing your child, but a friend's child disappearing under your care is almost as awful.
Absolute 5-star read. I'm looking forward to reading more by this author!
Was this review helpful?
I grew up always knowing that my mother would sacrifice her life, if necessary, for mine. She would step in front of the bus or lay down on a set of railroad tracks for me. She taught me that there is no greater bond and love you can have than that of a mother and child.
Now imagine your worst nightmare as a parent, your child goes missing.
Heidi Perks psychological thriller, Her One Mistake, is a chillingly, fast-paced mystery that will have you wondering where you missed that sign or clue several times throughout the book.
Four year old Alice is the only child of young mother, Harriet, and her husband Brian. She has never been out of her mothers sight since the day she was born. Harriet decides to let her best friend, Charlotte, take Alice to the school fair along with Charlotte's three children for a day of fun. What should have been a day filled with laughter, bellies full of too much sugar and children falling asleep on the way home, turns into Harriet's worst nightmares as Alice goes missing during Charlotte's watch.
The story is told alternately from Harriett and Charlotte's point of view as well as before and after the event. We learn that not everything is as it seems on the surface with twists and turns at every corner. Her One Mistake is gripping, suspenseful, thought-provoking, entertaining, disturbing and an engrossing read that at the end will leave you wondering what she thought her one mistake was.
I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley. #NetGalley #HerOneMistake
Was this review helpful?
Okay, it’s true, I’m a romance junkie.  But every once in a while I get the hankering for something a little different.  Although, in order to gain my attention, it has to really pull me in with the blurb.  This book did that and being this is written by a new author I was a bit worried that I might have fallen for a great blurb and not much else.  I’m happy to say that is not the case.

While this plot is about a missing child, it’s really about so much more.  It’s about friendships, marriage, parenthood and all the not so pretty things behind these labels.  I was definitely caught up in the case of the missing child, but I also found myself deeply moved by the layers that were revealed with these characters’ friendships.  I’m ashamed to say that I actually saw myself in some of them.  You know, that friendship that is just on the surface and has no real value.  But you don’t really ever acknowledge that fact.  I began to question myself about how I would react to this situation should one of my “friends” be found in the center of such an event.  I’d like to think I’d be the resilient one, but even in this story that friend isn’t perfect…and that was when I realized how true to the human condition this story really was.

Plot wise, this story kept me hopping.  I never knew what was going to happen and each twist and turn was a complete surprise, with the exception of one element that seems pretty obvious almost from the beginning.  However, that one non-hidden suspicion grew to be much more than I had anticipated, so even there I was taken by surprise.  The switch between past and present, first and third person, was a bit confusing and oftentimes I felt myself pulled out of the story as I had to reevaluate when and whose point of view I was in.  This doesn’t end in an “everyone lived happily ever after” but more of a “this is the best life can give us and we’re going to hold onto it for all it’s worth”.  And despite my love of romances that guarantee a HEA with every read, I was totally okay with it.

I would definitely recommend this read to anyone who likes a suspenseful mysteries that also have a deeper message beneath its surface.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book provided by NetGalley and Gallery/Pocket Books . All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Dual POV
Safe – N/A
Triggers abduction of a child; emotional abuse; physical abuse
Was this review helpful?