‘Four women in a close-knit community are thrust into the harsh spotlight when a young child goes missing’
– All Her Fault
[ About the Book ]
ONE MISSING BOY.
Marissa Irvine arrives at 14 Tudor Grove, expecting to pick up her young son Milo from his first playdate with a boy at his new school. But the woman who answers the door isn’t a mother she recognises. She isn’t the nanny. She doesn’t have Milo. And so begins every parent’s worst nightmare.
FOUR GUILTY WOMEN.
As news of the disappearance filters through the quiet Dublin suburb and an unexpected suspect is named, whispers start to spread about the women most closely connected to the shocking event. Because only one of them may have taken Milo – but they could all be blamed . . .
IN A COMMUNITY FULL OF SECRETS, WHO IS REALLY AT FAULT?
[ My Review ]
All Her Fault by Andrea Mara will be published July 22nd with Bantam Press/Transworld (ebook July 8th) and is described as ‘an explosive and twisty thriller.’ For anyone with children, the central story in All Her Fault is your worst nightmare come true. Marissa Irvine’s son Milo has recently started school and has been very much looking forward to his first playdate. An arrangement had been made via text messaging with Jenny, another mother from the school but when Marissa arrived to the address to collect Milo, he wasn’t there. There was no Jenny living there either. Marissa, breathless and panicking, explains to Esther, the woman whose home it is, that her son is supposed to be there. It’s initially thought to be a misunderstanding, an error in the text but Jenny does not know anything about this arrangement and is in Paris at a business meeting. It all becomes scarily clear, when the phone number is no longer recognised that Milo is missing. Marissa does not know where her son is.
The police are called in and a search begins. The nanny is the first port of call, but she is supposed to be off for that day, hence the convenience for Marissa of the arranged playdate. Could it be a simple mistake? Did the nanny take Milo? As Marissa starts to grasp the enormity of her situation, she experiences a fear like never before. Who would take Milo? And why?
Marissa is a popular mother in the school. As a partner in a local solicitor’s office, Marissa knows the finer details of the lives of many within the local community. Her husband Peter is a successful businessman and together they have a good life. They work hard and enjoy their lives. Having a nanny has allowed for both to continue working and they are surrounded by the trappings of a prosperous, and, up to now, happy marriage. Marissa is confident, a go-getter but, with Milo’s disappearance, she is a shell of her former self, unable to function, unsure of what to do.
Jenny is appalled by what has happened and feels the need to help Marissa in any way she can, with the two women soon bonding under such extraordinary circumstances.
Andrea Mara writes tension well. As a reader you are constantly kept on tenterhooks as you are slowly drip-fed snippets of information that send you off down various rabbit holes, almost inevitably reaching the very wrong conclusion. All Her Fault is Andrea Mara’s UK debut and, although her books are very much based in an Irish setting, the subject matter could be anywhere. Losing a child in a supermarket or at a playground is a very traumatic event in any parent’s life, but for your child to be stolen, to go missing, is just incomprehensible. Marissa’s descent into complete disarray is wonderfully captured by Andrea Mara. Her life spirals totally out of her control as the truth slowly reveals itself and we witness her fall from grace within the community. Where once she was the popular one, now it’s a question of ‘How could she? What was she thinking?’ Out of the woodwork, the trolls throw out comments about the working mother and about trusting children with strangers. Plenty of finger pointing and whispering surrounds Marissa as the once friendly neighbours begin to gossip and churn out possible scenarios.
Marissa’s pain and anguish is tangible, and the community’s reaction is perfectly depicted throughout. Blame and speculation are rife as the rumour mill sets itself in motion. Small towns will always breed gossip and Kerryglen soaks up the drama in spades. The school gate politics, the clique behaviour is evident in most communities today and Andrea Mara expertly brings to life all the personalities and chatter that accompany them.
All Her Fault is a complex plot with multiple characters and numerous twists and turns. With different perspectives we follow the story through the eyes of many, but it is Marissa whose pain we feel on every page. Choosing the appropriate childcare is vital to any parent but, although Marissa did everything expected, Milo still went missing. A terrifying scenario, Andrea Mara cleverly weaves it all together in a very tight plot, making All Her Fault a very engrossing and exciting page-turner.
[ Bio ]
Andrea Mara is an Irish Times Top Ten bestselling author, who has been shortlisted for a number of awards, including Irish Crime Novel of the Year at the An Post Book Awards. She lives in Dublin, Ireland, with her husband and three young children, and also runs multi-award-winning parent and lifestyle blog, OfficeMum.ie.
Her new thriller, All Her Fault is published by Transworld in the UK and Ireland in July 2021.
Twitter – @AndreaMaraBooks
Website – http://andreamara.ie/
Great review. I read One click a few years back and it kept me guessing sounds like this will be the same. One question if she wrote before how could this be a debut??
Thanks Lynda. It’s her UK debut. Different publisher. She was with an Irish publisher up to this point.