REVIEW: THE MISTAKE I MADE, BY PAULA DALY

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Roz Toovey had been struggling financially ever since her husband Winston ran up their debts and then left her. Finding herself responsible to care for their nine-year-old son George, as well as for paying off the debts, Roz is barely scraping by. And then she receives an eviction notice.

Could it get any worse?

But then, after an impromptu gathering at her sister Petra’s home, where Roz meets Scott and Nadine Elias, wealthy friends, she is stunned when Scott shows up at her physiotherapy office with an unexpected proposition. An “indecent proposal” kind of arrangement that could be just the way out of Roz’s financial mess.

But as they say, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Complications arise that Roz never expected. A strange encounter with Wayne Geddes, the manager at work, and a threatening exchange.

Just when she thought things wouldn’t get any worse, DC Joanne Aspinal and DC Ron Quigley show up at work, asking questions. Wayne is missing.

The Mistake I Made was one of those thrillers that kept me guessing, and even when I thought I knew how things would play out, I was stunned by what unfolded.

Set in Hawkshead, in England’s Lake District, I felt familiar with the surroundings due to previous books I have read from this author. The characters, including the cops, were fleshed out and enjoyable, and even the unlikeable characters, like Scott Elias, felt like people one might meet in real life.

Narrated in Roz’s first person voice, I naturally felt empathy for her situation, even though her errors in judgment were numerous. One can almost excuse some of her actions, as she felt backed into a corner. In the end, I was pleased at how everything fell into place, just when it all seemed impossible. Five stars.

***I received my copy as an e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley
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