Review: The Mistake I Made

The Mistake I Made by Paula Daly

3 stars

Read from 13 – 20 August, 2017

Synopsis: The Mistake I Made is the latest page-turner from one of the England’s most captivating new thriller writers. In her provocative and riveting third novel, Paula Daly focuses her masterful eye for psychological suspense and family drama on an indecent proposal that has fatal repercussions.

Single mother Roz has reached breaking-point. After the dissolution of her marriage, Roz’s business has gone under, debts are racking up, the rent is late (again), and she’s struggling to provide for her nine-year-old son, who is starting to misbehave in school. Roz is in trouble. Real trouble.

When Roz returns home from work one day and finds an eviction notice, she knows that it’s time for action—she has two weeks to find a solution otherwise they will be kicked out of their home. Increasingly desperate, Roz doesn’t know where to turn. Then the perfect opportunity presents itself. At her sister’s fortieth birthday party, Roz meets Scott Elias—wealthy, powerful, and very married. But the impression Roz leaves on him is indelible. He tracks her down and makes Roz an offer to spend the night with him—for money. He wants no-strings-attached intimacy and can guarantee total discretion. Could it be as simple as it sounds? With that kind of cash, Roz could clear her debts and get her life back on track. But as the situation spirals out of her control, Roz is forced to do things she never thought herself capable of. Can she ever set things right again?

Bookish Things: 356 pages. The cover appears to have been redone. I personally don’t much like either.

Where to buy: Amazon on kindle for $12.99.

My Review: 

Part thriller, part slice of life drama, The Mistake I Made presents a collection of diverse characters and thrusts them into a world of hurt.

Roz, our protagonist, promptly sets herself up in the opening chapters as a likeable, normal woman. A single parent who has been knocked to the curb by a nasty break up with a cheating, laidback ex-partner, drowning in debt and struggling to make ends meet. She is immediately likable and is a deep, developed character.

Scott, on the other hand, left a bit to be desired. His growth (or lack of it) fell flat and really didn’t compute.

The plot was intruiging and offers up quite a bit to make the reader consider the choices Roz makes. Would I or wouldn’t I make the same choice in her situation? It also makes one wonder just how far they’d have to be pushed before they too gave in or made the same decisions.

I didn’t much like Roz’s sister, or her friends, and probably could have done without all the weird family antics. It wouldn’t have impacted the overall story too much if Roz simply hadn’t had parents or a sister nearby. The plot points brought on by the family could have been orchestrated in other ways.

George, Roz’s nine-year-old son, was a great addition to the cast and his own character arc added a great deal of depth to both his character and to Roz’s. He helped to bring a softness to some of the situations and also to ramp up the stakes in Roz’s life.

The writing is solid, a few minor typos I noticed (but didn’t record!!) in the ARC I had, but the general finish of the story was strong. It possesses a lot of moving parts that came together in the end and created an interesting and engaging story.

Why only three stars?

The plot was very slow to start and while I appreciated getting to know Roz, it bordered on boring at some points. While the information about her stange and varied physiotherapy clients was amusing, I’m not sure what the purpose in all that detail really was. Some of it could be culled.

The other reason I couldn’t give this more stars is because of the bad guy. He’s just not believable. The depth of character seen in Roz is seriously lacking in our villain. Repercussions for the dastardly deeds that occur was also missing, although this is sort of explained, I feel it was too easy.

Overall, it kept me turning the pages, but could have been a lot crisper and thrilling with less of the fluff!

**Note: I received this as an electronic ARC from Net Galley in return for an honest review**

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