Lisa Kallisto is a frazzled mum of three, struggling to juggle parenthood with a demanding full time job running the local animal shelter. She’s so tired and stressed that she forgets her daughter’s best friend is supposed to be staying over for the night to work on a school project. Thirteen year old Lucinda isn’t picked up from school but, because her parents think she's with Lisa, nobody notices she is missing until the following morning.
Crime is very low in the Cumbrian village where Lisa lives but Lucinda’s disappearance is the second to occur within a matter of weeks. Molly Rigg, also thirteen, was recently abducted, drugged and raped before being dumped, naked from the waist up, in the freezing rain. Fearing the same will happen to Lucinda, Lisa is consumed with guilt, petrified of what the poor girl is being subjected to. Lucinda could be dead by now and Lisa blames herself. DC Joanna Aspinall is assigned to Lucinda’s case and knows they must act quickly to find the girl and whoever is responsible for her disappearance before they take another girl.
Just What Kind Of Mother Are You? is set in a village where not much happens when suddenly two horrific crimes take place. Lisa is caught up in the middle and feels responsible for Lucinda’s disappearance. Her husband, Joe tries to be supportive but even he thinks his wife messed up. Lisa is left feeling helpless as the investigation begins. She wants to make amends for her actions, to make it up to Lucinda’s mother but how can Kate ever forgive her for what she’s done? Kate is falling apart and Lisa tries to help her and can’t help noticing there is something strange going on within the family.
What Kind Of Mother Are You? is told from the perspective of Lisa as she deals with her guilt, DC Aspinall as she investigates the disappearance and, chillingly, the abductor. On some level he knows what he is doing is wrong but he justifies his actions and begins to plan his next attack.
I was quickly caught up in the story as the day unfolds and it transpires Lucinda has been missing all night. By the time the investigation began, I was hooked and found it very difficult to put down as I was desperate to know who had taken Lucinda and what had happened to her. It’s the kind of book you tell yourself you’ll read one more chapter but are still devouring pages five chapters later.
I liked how the books deals with both the investigation, uncovering the secrets and lies, and the lives of the victim’s family and friends as they try to deal with the devastating event. Adding the abductor’s disturbed thoughts only added to the atmosphere and the fear that he will strike again.
I thought What Kind Of Mother Are You? was a brilliant thriller, tangled up with lies and family drama and I look forward to reading more from Paula Daly in the future.
Thank you to Transworld for sending me a copy to review.