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Just What Kind of Mother Are You? [Hardcover]

Paula Daly
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
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Book Description

25 April 2013

What if your best friend's child disappears? And it's all your fault.

This is exactly what happens to Lisa Kallisto - overwhelmed working mother of three - one freezing December in the Lake District. She takes her eye off the ball for just a moment and her whole world descends into nightmare. Her best friend's thirteen-year-old daughter Lucinda has gone missing and now, devastated by this and publicly blamed, Lisa sets out to right the wrong.

But as she begins peeling away the layers surrounding Lucinda's disappearance, Lisa learns that the quiet town she lives in isn't what she thought it was, and her friends might not be who they appear to be, either.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (25 April 2013)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0593071697
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593071694
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.8 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 162,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paula Daly lives in Cumbria with her husband, three children and whippet Skippy. She is a freelance physiotherapist and lived for a short while in France, but returned to the UK after missing the hustle and bustle. Just What Kind of Mother are You? is her first novel, and she is currently working on her next.

Product Description


"With cracking dialogue, compelling characters and a page-turning plot about every mother's worst nightmare - the abduction of a teenage daughter - this is a truly promising debut by Daly. She writes with a singular voice and a fierce passion that roars off the page, while also displaying a visceral understanding of the betrayals and humiliations of domestic life ... With a sharp, double-twist ending, it announces Daly as a potential star, and one with the courage to take risks" (Geoffrey Wansell Daily Mail)

"In Paula Daly's strong debut, the lost-child horrorshow Just What Kind of Mother Are You?, the child is, in a neat, needling twist, that of Lisa's posh best friend rather than her own. Lisa is exhausted trying to balance motherhood and work, so forgets that Lucinda is coming to stay on the night she goes missing... The result is fiendishly addictive as well as perceptive about guilt and social class" (Guardian)

"Just What Kind of Mother Are You? is the very definition of a page-turner - the sort of book that causes you to lose half a day without even noticing. Savour every page, because this will probably be your book of the year. With characters so real they can't possibly be made up, it's a brilliant, thrilling story of friendship, families and the sort of terrifying betrayal that can only happen to those closest to us" (Elizabeth Haynes, author of Into the Darkest Corner)

"One of the most hypnotically gripping books I've read in a long, long time. Masterfully written and utterly unputdownable, this thriller will surprise and astound you with every ingenious twist and turn" (Tess Gerritsen)

"Riveting! Daly plunges straight into the heart of every parent's worst nightmare with page turning results. You know this family. You may even be one of these moms. And you will fly through this novel, as their pain, bewilderment, and ultimately determination becomes your own" (Lisa Gardner)

Book Description

What could be worse than a child going missing? When it's your best friend's child. And it was on your watch... An emotionally fraught psychological thriller and a shrewd examination of family life - and the evil that can lie beneath.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant debut novel 22 April 2013
I received a proof of 'Just What Kind of Mother Are You?' from Alison Barrow at Transworld Publishers. This is Paula Daly's debut novel and it is being published by Bantam Press on the 25th April 2013.

'Just What Kind of Mother Are You?' is set in the Lake District in Cumbria. A psychological thriller, this story is every mother's nightmare.

It's a freezing cold Tuesday morning and Christmas is fast approaching. Lisa Kallisto wakes up feeling even more tired than when she went to bed. Her life is so busy what with having three children and three pet dogs, plus working in an animal rescue centre. It's a wonder that she can cope! So when her best friend's 13-year-old daughter, Lucinda, goes missing Lisa feels that it's all her fault especially as she was meant to be staying over the previous night after school.

Lucinda is the second girl to have disappeared in the last fortnight. The first one was found on a busy high street in a bad way after having been raped. But will Lucinda be found? Will she be let go? Because if she isn't, Lisa knows she will never be able to forgive herself. As the search for Lucinda takes place Lisa is in for a big shock as she discovers that people are not always who they seem. It's a classic case of not knowing what goes on behind closed doors.

This novel was absolutely brilliant and I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes a bestseller. Gripping right from the start it just got better and better. There were so many revelations and I really didn't expect it to end the way it did. The author has really got into her characters minds and explored the different emotions.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsive read 3 April 2014
By Sueann
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Worth every 5 stars given.

Read in 2 sittings, if sleep hadn't prevailed I would have devoured in one. An excellently executed character driven novel told from not just one prospective, the story offers so much more than the usual police driven saga's. Well plotted and perfectly paced, I was completely engaged throughout it never waned at anytime. A cracking good mystery/thriller, with a few giggles nicely placed.

Blindsided by the ending, kicked myself.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great debut - intense and twisty 25 May 2013
By K. J. Noyes TOP 500 REVIEWER
It is every parent's worst nightmare to imagine their child going missing. But what if your friend's child went missing, while you were supposed to be watching her? This horrifying premise is the basis for this debut novel by Paula Daly.

Lisa Kallisto loves her family. She's pulled a hundred different ways by her kids and her own job working in an animal shelter, and she's exhausted. She blames herself entirely when her daughter's friend Lucinda goes missing when she's meant to be at their house having a sleepover. How will Lucinda's parents treat her? Can she do anything? Was it her fault?

Lisa is an empathetic character. You feel for her, can see how it happened. Her efforts to face up to her perceived guilt are brave, she and her husband a likeable couple. It's a tense story. Not only do we follow Lisa, but the police investigation through the female detective in charge, and we see insights into the mind of the abducter of the girls. The tension mounts as we hope Lucinda is going to survive and be brought back home.

On top of this plot though, are other secrets that are gradually revealed, with twists and revelations right up until the last few pages. Hard to put down, it feels very real and threatening.

Not a light summer read, but it's quick and thrilling, twisty and captivating.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting social commentary 2 April 2014
Lisa is run ragged. With a full time job and three school age children she can't even remember the list of ingredients, stuck to the fridge door, her daughter, Sally needs this morning for school. She is envious of Kate and her perfect lifestyle, with the big house and no financial need to work, she has the time to be the perfect mother. So when Kate's daughter is coming for a sleepover you'd think Lisa would remember, especially as there is a child abductor in the area. And then Kate's daughter goes missing.
A great mystery but this book is more about keeping up appearances and the reality hidden behind the mask of "having it all."
Some interesting social commentary and excellent characterisation. I wasn't completely surprised by the ending but a nice build up of suspense.
This is a debut novel and I'm interested in reading her follow up book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what it was hyped up to be... 31 Mar 2014
By lena
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've looked forward to this book for a while as it took such a long time for the price to come down and the reviews were so good. Sadly it didn't live up to my expectations. As regular visitors to The Lakes and usually staying within a few miles of the setting, it was lovely to read about an area we know so well. The storyline however was disappointing. I didn't feel for any of the characters and the ending was very poor. Shame
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow great first novel 30 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
this is a really great read with plenty of twists and turns along the way. Its a parent ultimate nightmare when their child goes missing but this puts a twist on this scenario when another family plays a part in this happening.
I have read quite a few of this theme lately but this really adds something new. The characters are well drawn and if this is a debut then im sure to expect great things from this author in the future.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Just What Kind of Mother are you?
This is an exceptional book and I would recommend to anyone. I love this genre and found this to be one of the best books I have read in a while. Read more
Published 8 hours ago by adamant_wigan
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pacy and readable thriller,
This book is Pacy and maintains your interest, it is a crime thriller set in Windermere area. From the off the story get going at a good pace that it maintains. Read more
Published 2 days ago by LoveShopping
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent, exciting read
Not only is this a page-turner, but it is extremely well-written, with well-rounded, believable characters. I eagerly await Paula Daly's next novel.
Published 3 days ago by Ms Adrienne E. Barnett
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, entertaining and a quick read
This would make a great summer read. Take it on the beach too remind you how much you need too relax.
Published 3 days ago by Mrs. E. J. Hanton
4.0 out of 5 stars Kept me guessing until the end
Lisa, a working mother of three children, forgets to pick up a friend's daughter from school one afternoon. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Camilla Macaulay
4.0 out of 5 stars You won't be disappointed
Compelling thriller with realistic look at how women have to juggle work and family to the point of exhaustion . A real gem
Published 8 days ago by Louise M MIller
5.0 out of 5 stars great read!!
Fab book , well written. I live in Windermere and reading this book made me think of all the places round here, Paula described everything really well and I found myself being in... Read more
Published 13 days ago by Natalie Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars could not put it down
The characters that i had sympathy for in this book were Joe and Sam because the only person that Lisa seemed to care the most about was Kate,it was Kate this and Kate that even... Read more
Published 18 days ago by Mrs. N. Richards
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Unputdownable a lot of unexpected twists. Read this book in a day. Can really empathise with Lisa juggling her busy life. Highly recommended.
Published 20 days ago by Pauline from Ireland
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