Title: Mummy’s Little Secret
Author: M.A. Hunter
Published on: 5 August 2021
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers | Psychological Thriller
Mummy’s Little Secret is a standalone psychological thriller from the author of The Missing Children Case Files, M.A. Hunter.
Jess is at a local park with her daughter Grace. Grace is playing around when a little girl comes to Jess and whispers, “She’s not my mum.” An older woman comes looking for the little girl and introduces herself to Jess. The woman is called Morag and the little girl, Daisy. Grace invites Daisy to play with her and the two girls become friends.
Back home that evening, Jess tells her husband Charlie about the incident at the park and he poo-poos it as Jess’s imagination. But is it really just her imagination or there’s more to Daisy and Morag’s story?
Mummy’s Little Secret is the seventh M.A. Hunter book I have read. The story begins on an exciting and suspenseful note, falls flat in the middle and ends with an explosive twist. Overall, I did not like this as much as I thought I would. I will not compare this to Hunter’s The Missing Children Case Files but I have to say the amount of thrill and suspense built at the beginning of the story did not do justice to the ending.
The story alternates between Before and Now. Before is again divided into two parts – Jess’ and Morag’s part of the story. Now – which comes at around 25% through the story is about SIO Mike Farrey. A crime was reported in a residential area and when the first responders arrived, they found a woman drenched in blood while a man lay lifeless on the floor.
Jess is wheelchair bound for the past six months. She’s lost her second child Luke; Luke was stillborn and the anesthesia given to Jess during the labor caused damage to her spine and left her wheelchair bound. Her husband Charlie is being supportive of her – but halfway through, we see Jess turning a little paranoid about his late night work-related-calls. Is he cheating on her? Jess also suffers from mental illness – post-partum-depression + trauma of losing her second child + disability. To add to her woes are Daisy’s four words “She’s not my mum.”
Morag and her husband Angus are on the run. Their house in Scotland was burned down and they had to move again when Morag thought ‘HE’ was getting closer to catching them. The mysterious ‘HE’ remains in the background until the end – we have Morag getting paranoid at times – a quick stop to the supermarket or the nearby café becomes difficult as Morag has to be on the watch 24×7. But how is Daisy connected to all this? The readers are not made aware of the backstory until halfway through the book.
The NOW part of the story deals with the witness/killer – Mike is not sure if the woman found at the scene of crime killed the man or witnessed his killing. He also doesn’t know the identity of the dead man. Could it be the witness/killer’s husband? Was this murder a result of domestic violence?
Like I mentioned before, the story falls flat halfway through. Morag and Jess’s side-stories felt a bit dragged – at times, I felt like skipping to the end. Jess’s paranoia’s never-ending – there comes a time when she starts to doubt everything and everyone! Gosh! Also, Morag is initially portrayed as the bad guy (or, bad gal) – later, we realize her ‘evilness’ is partly Jess’ figment of imagination.
The ending was okay. Nothing great or wow about the way things ended. Having said that, the twist is mind-blowing. This twist has something to do with a secret Morag’s been harboring for ages.
Overall, Mummy’s Little Secret by M.A. Hunter is an okay read.
I received an ARC from One More Chapter and NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.