"Bad Mother" by Mia Sheridan is a poignant and emotionally charged story that delves into the depths of motherhood, sacrifice, and redemption, leaving readers with a powerful message.
I love Mia’s writing style. Her romantic suspense allows hooks me. She can definitely reel you in with her storytelling.
Mia is one of my all time favorite authors, and I always enjoy reading all her books., but I’m really enjoying this psychological thriller.
Bad Mother had me hooked from start to finish. I couldn’t put tue book down. I loved the thrills of the book but also the story behind Sienna & Gavin.
This was the perfect second chance psychological thriller and I can’t wait to read more from Mia.
I love Mia Sheridan but this did not work for me at all - I found myself losing interest in the case as well as the romance. I'll chalk this up to a one off and look forward to what she writes next.
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley. Review based on final copy. All opinions are my own.
Mia Sheridan is an author that I read one excellent book from a while ago, and while I always wanted to read more from her, I never really had the opportunity to do so. But when I read the premise of Bad Mother, I found myself intrigued as to what a foray into romantic suspense or thriller from her would look like. While it’s a genre I tend to find very hit-or-miss, due to it needing just the right balance of the suspense and romance elements, I ended up mostly enjoying the results.
The main “hook” for the story for me was the way it balanced the investigation side with delving into the mind of the serial killer himself. While there is obviously nothing that can justify his actions, I loved how the little snippets of his perspective delved into his pathology, with an Oedipus complex in a similar vein to Norman Bates. The one flashback scene, combined with the journal entries, poignantly capture the trauma he went through, as seen through his eyes, providing context and motive to his crimes.
I also enjoyed following Sienna, Kat, and Gavin as they conducted their investigation. There are some great twists and turns, and it was interesting trying to figure out why both Sienna and Gavin were considered persons of interest to the killer to interact with.
While the romance does sometimes take a back seat to the case, I did feel like there was enough “meat” to the romance too. Sienna and Gavin have a history together, and proximity to each other while working the case absolutely makes things complicated. While I did think the ending for them was a little too abrupt and neat-and-tidy, I did like them together, and it’s a nice optimistic note to end on for all involved after all the trauma everyone has been through.
This was a great read, and I hope Mia Sheridan writes more books in this vein. If you’re looking for a well-crafted romantic suspense, I’d recommend checking this out!
“Bad Mother” is a great cat and mouse psychological thriller that will keep you on your toes trying to guess until the very end.
This is my first book by Mia Sheridan and will be checking out her other books. I did see other reviews though that warned she is a traditional romance writer, but I enjoyed her writing style and though the book was thoroughly entertaining.
I want to thank NetGalley, Mia Sheridan and Montlake for the e-ARC of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are honest, my own and left voluntarily.
A great murder mystery book with a romance sub-plot! Mia Sheridan writes and I WILL READ IT! This had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. Did I want a bit more romance, yes but was it still good, YES!
Mia sheridan has never written a bad book! Especially the suspenseful/thriller style romance books. This book had good twists and turns while also keeping the romance present. I love a good serial killer thriller and this one does not disappoint!
I did not finish reading this book. I just did not connect to the storyline or writing style. But I don’t think that would go across the board! I would advise people to try and see if they like it.
The last place Detective Sienna Walker wanted to be was the hometown she left without looking back. With her career on the line, she had to put her past heartache behind and jumped into work immediately. But her latest case felt eerily personal, especially when Gavin Decker inevitably pulled in.
This story felt slow for me in the first half of the book with more telling than showing. Thankfully it picked up later and I enjoyed it overall. I liked there were a lot of “puzzles” throughout the story, though some felt quite far fetch with how the characters were able to solve.
Sienna and Gavin’s pasts were interesting, and I liked them individually. However, they lacked chemistry as a couple. I was of course, drawn to Danny Boy and felt for him.
Bad Mother is a cat and mouse story of vengeance and redemption. It would appeal to readers looking for a crime thriller with a hint of romance.
prior to this i had never read a romantic suspense but wanted to give it a shot, i didn’t love it but i didn’t hate it per say. the thriller aspect felt too predictable and the MMC sucked ass.
What did I learn from reading Bad Mother? I’d make a terrible detective.
I just don’t think I’d have the patience to wade through all the clues trying to figure out who the bad guy is. Because I hardly had the patience to read about them in this book…
After being forced out of her detective job in New York City, Sienna Walker reluctantly accepts a job back in her hometown of Reno, Nevada - the place she vowed never to return after a terrible childhood and getting left at the altar at 18. Once she arrives, she’s immediately sucked into the investigation of a serial killer that seems to have a personal connection, not only to her but also the man who broke her heart.
Mia Sheridan can write. Really well. But this story rolled out slowly. Painfully slowly. And as someone who is an avid romance reader (Ms. Sheridan’s usual genre) I’m sure this story was well written, but I think maybe thriller just isn’t my genre. I need things a little more fast paced. More kissing would be good too. Mia Sheridan did write two thriller/suspense books I LOVED - Where the Blame Lies and Where the Truth Lives - but for some reason Bad Mother didn’t pull me in. And with the romance between the hero and heroine having a more side-plot place in the book, that was disappointing as well - I like there to be as much about the relationship as there is the suspenseful part, which definitely wasn’t the case here.
I’ve been a big fan of Mia Sheridan’s since I first read her book Archer’s Voice back in 2014. I don’t want to say Bad Mother was a miss for me, but I’ve definitely enjoyed most of her other books more. Part of that may be because this book had some tough subject matter plus the murder of characters we knew, and it wasn’t balanced out with a more developed love story. All I know is I hope her next book is a lighthearted rom com.
* thank you to NetGalley and Montlake for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review
Bad Mother by Mia Sheridan was the first book I’ve ever read by Ms. Sheridan and it for sure won’t be the last! I truly loved reading this story. The twist and turns had me glued to the pages needing to know how it was all going to play out.
Sienna, who is trying to salvage her police career, transfers to her hometown in Nevada. She thinks she has it all figured out until she sees the man who shattered her all those years ago. The one man who made her feel safe. Little does she know what awaits her return…
I loved this book so much! It was well written and the characters were incredible! Highly recommend reading this book!
Bad Mother is a suspense thriller that reminded me a lot of Karen Rose’s work. I had enjoyed a lot of Mia Sheridan’s romance titles, so I was excited to see what she was capable of in the mystery genre. I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t really care for the romance side of things as I just felt this second chance romance was a little bit implausible. I don’t think I’d hook up with someone that ditched me at the alter but there we go!
I didn’t read much about the synopsis before delving in, but the premise of a Bad Mother really intrigued me. This really helped me get lost in the story, without putting any pressure on it. Sometimes I find myself expecting something that never happens, so I gave the story room to breathe like a decent vintage. I was rewarded with an enjoyable reading experience. There’s emotion on every page and I just love a serial killer story.
A cat and mouse game – the bodies keep piling up and the killer seems to know new detective to the department – Sienna Walker. He seems to know about her connection to her ex, Gavin Decker, winner of the world series in Poker. Why is the first body posed with a deck of cards?
There was enough information about each character to determine what was going on regarding the plot. Reactions were genuine and I enjoyed the trajectory of the plot. The personalized notes from the killer also gave a unique take into the mind of a killer. It was messed up and it made me think about nature vs nurture.
Bad Mother is a gritty read. It spins a tale about childhood trauma, thriller and romance and flowed with a raw sense of intrigue.
Mia Sheridan's last several books have kept me up at night. I had to know who was causing all the trouble, and, just as significantly, I had to know why. She develops twisty tales that grab you on the first page.
On the surface, this is a police procedural featuring a potential second-chance romance. But dig deeper, as you will with Mia Sheridan's books, and you will find an examination of what it means to be a parent. If you were faced with a horrific choice, what would you do? How would you justify your decision? How would you live with it?
When Sienna is forced to leave her New York cop job, she returns to Reno, the hometown she swore was in her rearview mirror for good--the town and her ex-fiancé Gavin. When murders start happening, it becomes clear that Sienna and Gavin are involved. But how? Why? The why, dear reader, is the key. It will consume you.
I enjoyed this mystery. Sienna and Gavin's relationship may feel a little familiar, but the mystery at the heart of the story is unique and utterly captivating. You won't be able to put this book down.
✔️ crime and mystery
✔️ second chance
Sienna and Gavin. They show strength and overcoming adversity. What I love most about Mia’s books, as with Bad Mother, is there is always a uniqueness to her stories, to her characters.
When tragedy strikes, Sienna returns to Reno, to Gavin. Their tense history clouds their interactions as Sienna investigates a local murder. But the tension is symbolic of their chemistry, of their history. The feelings are still very much undeniable. Years later, Gavin can still read Sienna, he still very much cares.
Bad Mother is very much a romantic suspense, with a plot full of mystery and intrigue. While Sienna’s relationship with Gavin is interwoven, the emphasis is on the mystery surrounding the murder.
Learning about Sienna and Gavin’s challenging upbringings made me empathise with them more, to see how far they’d come, how much they’d had to endure, to overcome. And seeing Sienna reunited with her found family is so heartwarming and so beautiful.
Gavin and Sienna are a product of their circumstances, but they were always meant to be together. Wrong person, wrong time. But time and love found a way.
Mia’s prose is stunning, breathtaking. Her words have the ability to captivate you, drawing you into Sienna and Gavin’s story — unwilling to let you go. Then, the mysterious undercurrents of the case Sienna is investigating, the flashbacks through letters, the clues. Bad Mother was impossible to put down. I needed to know more.
While a romantic suspense, the story’s narrative is fuelled with suspense and intrigued with Sienna’s investigation, keeping you hooked, desperate for more. More story. More Gavin and Sienna. More answers, insight.
Bad Mother is the story of the implications of trauma, but also about the power of connections, that love can persevere and, in the case of Gavin and Sienna, we are worthy of second chances.
Bad Mother is, emotionally, not an easy read, there’s tragedy and heartache, but reading it was beautiful.
Mia Sheridan books are a hit or miss for me, this one is definitely a hit.
I loved everything about this, the mix between thriller and romance is executed extremely well, the plot is divided equally and they complemented each other really well.
The writing is excellent as always, the plot is well-structured, the characters are interesting and well-described.
This is a great mystery story…a girl comes home to a new job and is thrown into a complicated serial murder case that had me thinking and trying to figure out. Good plotting by the author.
This was very hard to read on audio. Because by the time I got around to reading this, it was past the pub date and I got the audiobook.
I enjoyed it enough. It was entertaining enough. But it wasn’t memorable. I think I would have enjoyed this more if I could read the physical book. The letters and flashbacks and timeline of the present got very hard to follow on audio. It would be the quickest reference to the letters and I might have missed it and was like wait- what’s happening?
Plus the letters and the cards and all that stuff, just not easy for audio. But I won’t deduct my rating because the story itself was still entertaining, just not easy to follow.
3.5 Oh, The Past Stars
I have been a Mia Sheridan fan for years. Her romance books have been strong with intriguing plots. When I saw this book, I wasn't surprised that she would take on more of a suspense book and the idea of a serial killer out there pulled me in.