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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting social commentary
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...
Published 3 months ago by Diana J Febry

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ok
Ok not the storyline I was expecting a little disturbing reading at times but generally a good read for the most
Published 1 month ago by huck


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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting social commentary, 2 April 2014
This review is from: Just What Kind of Mother Are You? (Paperback)
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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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsive read, 3 April 2014
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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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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant debut novel, 22 April 2013
By 
Sonya Alford (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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. I also like the way the subject of unwanted or abandoned cats and dogs was included in the story especially as it's something that sadly happens all the time.

Whilst reading this story I could picture it being made into a two-part thriller for TV. I truly hope that one day this happens.

Paula Daly is the new voice in thriller writing. 'Just What Kind of Mother Are You?' is one of my favourite books of the year so far. I already can't wait for the next one to come out. Well done, Paula.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ok, 7 Jun 2014
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Ok not the storyline I was expecting a little disturbing reading at times but generally a good read for the most
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 20 July 2014
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I found this book frustrating. It begins with a short look in italics into the mind of a man who seems to be planning the abduction of a child. Then it moves onto the life of the main protagonist, and the writing is bright and witty. I'm going to enjoy this, I thought. I can relate to this woman, I'm going to find her life interesting. Then chapter 3 starts and the writer suddenly and inexplicably swaps first person perspective into third person and now it's all about some Detective! I am SO sick of this in modern books aimed at women. There is never a need to mess around with perspective, it's distracting and irritating. If the writer wants to show the viewpoints of several different characters, as this writer does (the child abductor, mother, Detective) then just write the whole thing in third person!

My heart sank as I read on and realised that the story was going to plod along the path popular, again, with other modern fiction aimed at women, that of the Detective Story. And so the main character Lisa fights for space in the book against the Detective, and the story gets tangled up in the Detective's wish for a boob job, and her loneliness, and evening drinking and blah blah blah having absolutely no relevance to the so-called "plot".

And there really isn't much of a plot, just a series of amazing coincidences and convenient events. In fact I suspect the Detective parts of the book were inserted when the writer found she couldn't make a book out of Lisa stumbling across coincidence after coincidence to solve the mystery of the missing girl, and needed to pad it out.

Amazingly, given how I've just torn the plot to pieces, I still enjoyed a lot of the writing. I think the writer has a keen eye and writes characters very well. But in a way, this created another problem. The day to day observations are enjoyable but they are at odds with all the subject matter the writer's crammed into three days; suicides, affairs, abduction, rape, abusive mothers, and double lives. Throughout the whole book a 13 year old girls is presumed abducted by a rapist, and yet there isn't a shadow of tension in the writing about it. There's lots of guilt and anxiety and blame, but then in the next scene, when the writer needs something convenient to happen, it's forgotten for a bit. In fact any tension is often killed by the writer's need to have a trip down memory lane! Nice observation about when and why you put your Christmas tree up, but when your character is racing to impart a crucial piece of information to their friend about their missing daughter? Really?

I thought the story tied up well, if implausibly, but I don't get why the husband had that incident at the end. And it got awkward when Lisa, written in first perspective, meets the Detective, written in third person perspective, at the end.

This writer can do so much better! And intelligent female readers deserve better than this.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A hugely gripping, tense and emotional mystery., 19 July 2014
Review also published on my blog StudentSpyglass.com

Source: Review copy from NetGalley

Lisa Kallisto is an overworked, perpetually busy mum. She forgets to buy the ingredients her daughter needs for food tech, is constantly juggling several things at once, and never has enough money for the animal shelter that she works at. Her go to phrase is “Leave it with me, I’ll sort it”, even when she has no idea just how she’ll go about it. She lives happily (if busily) with her taxi driving husband and their two kids.

Lisa’s best friend, Kate, is one of ‘those’ mothers. The cake baking, never forgets anything, always smiling and put together mothers. Despite their friendship, Lisa can’t help feeling a little jealous of Kate, and her perfect seeming life. Through a series of miscommunications, Kate is left thinking that her daughter Lucinda is staying at Lisa’s for a night – but she’s not. When she goes missing, Lisa blames herself – and so does everyone else. Wracked with guilt and fear, Lisa watches hopelessly as the police try to find Lucinda.

The story alternates between first-person chapters from Lisa’s point of view and third-person chapters from Detective Constable Joanne Aspinall, with a few chapters from the kidnapper.

Lisa’s first person chapters are easy to get engrossed in, because let’s be honest, we all have days when we’re overwhelmed, when we forget things, where we look at someone else’s life and think it seems so easy. Lisa’s not perfect, not by any stretch of the imagination – she makes mistakes, she sometimes doesn’t appreciate how amazing her own family life is and she struggles with feeling worthy. Despite that, or perhaps because of it, she’s very easy to relate to. There are moments where you’ll dislike her, and moments when you can’t help but feel so strongly for her because she’s a very three-dimensional character.

DC Joanne Aspinall is a steady, hard-working woman, trying to piece together the case of Lucinda, and the other missing girls. She’s very likable, and although her chapters were perhaps slightly less emotional than Lisa’s, I think the story needed those breaks in order not to leave the reader just feeling burnt out.

It’s hard to comment on any of the other characters without giving away spoilers, as at points throughout the book, you may find yourself looking at EVERYONE!

Just What Kind of Mother are You? was truly gripping and engrossing, heavily emotional and with a twist filled-end. Unfortunately, while the ending was definitely a twist, I wasn’t ultimately satisfied with it. There are a lot of secrets kept throughout the town, which in itself I could have lived with, but there were certain secrets that I felt would have been impossible to keep quiet and so the ending felt less plausible the more I thought about it. (I know that’s very vague, it’s impossible to say more without giving any spoilers away!).
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great debut - intense and twisty, 25 May 2013
By 
K. J. Noyes "Katy Noyes" (Derbyshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(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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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect read - keeps you guessing, 30 April 2013
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What a great thriller set in the Lake District. You'll raise a smile at the insights Paula builds into the tale as we all know folk like the key characters. They are such real people who we all know and love.....or hate! The book is so well constructed and the people brilliantly crafted that you could really believe this could happen. The tale is so carefully woven the end is a surprise, but is it actually? It is definately a satisfying one. Highly recommend and can't wait for more.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow great first novel, 30 Mar 2014
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars charactors were very life like and., 27 Jun 2014
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If i could have read this book without stopping i would have , very hard to put down. Strong story and lots of twists and turns , charactors were very life like and .
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Just What Kind of Mother Are You?
Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly (Paperback - 13 Mar 2014)
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