Review: All Her Fault by Andrea Mara

Title: All Her Fault

Author: Andrea Mara

Published: 22nd July 2021, Bantam Press UK

Status: Read July 2021 courtesy Penguin/Netgalley

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My Thoughts:

In All Her Fault by Irish author Andrea Mara, Marissa Irvine arrives at 14 Tudor Grove to collect her four year old son, Milo, from a play date, only to discover the occupant is a stranger who knows nothing about her son.

It’s a scenario that becomes ever more nightmarish when it’s clear there has been no simple mistake. Jenny, with whom Marissa organised the playdate over text, claims to know nothing about the plan, and when no ransom demand is forthcoming, the police have few leads to follow.

The longer Milo remains missing, the higher the tension rises. Mara develops plenty of plausible red herrings as suspicion falls on strangers and those closest to the Irvine’s alike. Cleverly, though the identity of the abductor is eventually revealed, their motivation remains obscured, until a final shocking reveal that I really didn’t see coming. A couple of the twists are a bit of a stretch but in general I thought All Her Fault was well plotted, pacey and suspenseful.

Mara’s portrayal of Marissa’s journey from confusion through to panic and despair is well portrayed. I empathised with her devastation, and her determination to find her son. Gossip and speculation run rampant as the news of Milo’s kidnapping spreads, there are some particularly passive-aggressive characters – school gate mums (and a Dad)- who are eager to suggest Marissa is somehow to blame for the tragedy. Jenny is the only one who reaches out to Marissa and offers her genuine support, despite her unwitting role in the abduction.

With a compelling premise, well drawn characters and a rather spectacularly satisfying ending, I thought All Her Fault was a gripping read.

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Available from Penguin UK


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