You think you have the perfect family.
But everything can be broken.
Liz and Jess have been friends for ten years, ever since they both started a family. But how well do they really know each other?
When Jess arrives at hospital with a story that doesn’t add up, Liz is the doctor on call.
Jess has devoted her life to family and home. But she is holding so many secrets.
As the truth begins to emerge, Liz is forced to question everything she thought she knew: about Jess, and about herself.
When something feels so personal, how do you stay professional?
A hard-hitting psychological thriller that will strike a cord with every reader – especially parents!
Forming a friendship from having children at the same time, supporting each other through sleepless nights, teething and toddler tantrums, Liz and Jess have been friends for years but the events of one night tests that friendship to its very core.
Liz is a paediatric registrar and whilst on shift she is called to A&E to access a baby with a head injury and to her horror it is her friend Jess and her young daughter Betsey. As Liz examines Betsey she follows protocol asking the obvious questions about how it happened, how long ago it happened and any other symptoms. All routine but Jess’s answers are pretty evasive and don’t tally up with the injury sustained. It is also routine for doctors not to treat friends and family so her boss is called in to take over the case. As she relays the information, Liz has to agree with her boss that something isn’t right, that their legal obligation is to the patient and the safeguarding of the child so she has no choice but to involve social service’s and the police.
A choice that goes against everything she knows about her friend and her friends parenting skills. She even looks up to her as an exemplary mother and has more than once gone to Jess for parenting advice, but as much as she wants to believe her friend would never deliberately hurt her child, something is definitely not right.
As the police and Jess’s family try to ascertain what happened that night, how Betsey sustained a fractured skull, lives begin to unravel, secrets are revealed and relationships are pushed to their very limits.
With growing tension and revelation after revelation this book has it all, it skilfully plays on every parents fears and expertly conveys the emotions of both women and their families in this compelling, multi-layered plot. Beautifully written, believable characters and a perfect balance of suspense, tension and emotion, this is by far her best book to date.
If you enjoyed her previous book, Anatomy of a Scandal which is a hard book to follow, but she has surpassed that with this book so you really won’t want to miss this one.
A massive thank you to the author Sarah Vaughan, publishers Simon & Schuster, head of marketing Hayley McMullan and NetGalley for my digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest and independent review.