This is a brilliant psychological thriller which plays on the greatest (supposedly irrational) fear of every new mother - what if someone stole my baby?
The May Mothers are a group of Brooklyn women who all gave birth in the month of May. They meet regularly for coffees and in the park, and one night when their babies are a few weeks old, decide to have an evening out together, leaving their husbands with the babies. Winnie, a beautiful, remote single mother, is convinced to join them when one of the others recommends a nanny. The night takes a few strange turns and ends in horror when Winnie’s baby Midas is kidnapped from his crib.
You can't talk about a child being abducted while the parents were off having a good time without the name of Madeleine McCann springing to mind, and some off the parallels are very uncomfortable, including the way the women are pilloried by the press for enjoying themselves. Everyone is an amateur detective with a theory, and the book definitely should make you question whether you have the right to make judgements when you don't have the complete picture.
There are several red herrings scattered throughout the book which caused me to be truly surprised when the big reveal came. I'd be very surprised if this doesn't get made into a movie: it's sort of Gone Girl meets Big Little Lies and is just as clever as both. Five stars for a riveting read I really couldn't put down!
The Perfect Mother is available now.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review from NetGalley.