You can’t keep the secret. You can’t tell the truth. You can’t escape the past.
Psychological and suspense thrillers seem to be the in thing at the moment which a glut of new authors in this genre. I have always liked reading them so have a library full of them, more than half from well-established authors and the rest from new and emerging authors. That makes choosing my next book to read quite difficult as I love the authors that I know but I have found some great books by new authors or authors that I haven’t read before. While I have He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly I haven’t yet had the chance to read despite hearing great things about it, so when her latest novel, Stone Mothers (published by Hodder & Stoughton), arrived for review it was time to start reading her work, and I’m glad I did.
Erin Kelly is the bestselling author of He Said/She Said and Broadchurch: The Novel, among others and is a expect at writing novels that keep you in suspense right up to the very end.
Stone Mothers (an old Victorian term for asylums/mental hospitals) is a suspense thriller involving mental illness, blackmail, secrets and murder. It is set in the present, but the story actually begins years earlier so the book goes back and forth between the time periods to slowly reveal more and more of its dark secrets.
The main character, Marianne, is forced to return to her small home town in Suffolk when her husband purchases an apartment. This apartment is in block of the redeveloped Nazareth Hospital, an old Victorian asylum that was closed down years ago. Marianne had left the town after an incident that saw a body buried at the hospital. Moving back, the past is about to rear its ugly head when a secret that she and her childhood boyfriend have kept for decades comes back into play, and she will do anything to protect her family.
Overall, I found Stone Mothers is a very enjoyable read. It starts in the present day and is told in four parts, going back through time exploring how the present day situation came to the point it was, the different characters and their roles played in the cover. Each chapter slowly, and masterfully, reveals secrets leaving you engrossed while leaving you in suspense about the outcome.
Stone Mothers is ultimately a crime story but does an excellent job of exploring mental illness, the social issues and the lengths people will go to to keep their secrets.
A multi-layered story that expertly teases the reader, slowly building the suspense and hitting you with unforeseen twists at the last possible moment. The central characters are great, each with their own flaws that bring a great depth to the story.
I really enjoyed Stone Mothers, it’s was an intriguing story with a good plot, plenty of suspense, and extremely hard to put down. Definitely one I would recommend reading. An extremely cleverly written novel.
Stone Mothers has been republished under the title We Know You Know.
RRP: £12.99 (Hardback) / £7.99 (Paperback) / £4.99 (Kindle)
Available to buy from Amazon here.
DISCLOSURE: I was provided with a free copy of this book for the purposes of writing a honest and impartial review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This review uses an affiliate link which I may receive a small commission from if you purchase through the link.