The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

(While I am fortunate to have a mother in law that I like (and I think likes me) we have all heard the horrible MIL stories right? Sally Hepworth takes this common theme to a whole new level. This was the first Hepworth book I’ve read and then I went on a Hepworth binge, not sorry.

The Mother-in-Law opens with a knock on the door telling Lucy and her husband that Diana, Lucy’s MIL was found dead. The family was surprised but also not shocked because Diana had cancer…except the autopsy showed no signs of cancer but then a found suicide note was found that said she was tired of living with the cancer and had decided to end her life, yet there were signs of poison and evidence of suffocation. From there readers are moved between 2 timelines, one of the future and one of past where we learn the secrets and truths of what seemed like a perfect family.

Diana was a socialite and leader of a non-profit that helped refugee women and mothers. Diana appeared to be living a grand life with a grand house and perfect children, but looks can be deceiving. When Lucy came into the family Diana kept her far enough way that they couldn’t bond and far enough away that Lucy couldn’t really get to know Diana as a person. But as Diana’s life starts to change and she starts to get older and she needs to make some tough choices she finds Lucy to be an ally.

As readers are taken through a who-dun-it plot we are let in on all the secrets this family has and how each member is desperate to fix their mistakes or make a life they thought they deserved, and sometimes at a cost. I did figure it out before we are let in on the ultimate secret of how Diana died but Sally Hepworth is a writer that leads you right to the answer then takes a different turn and it happens from pulling info we already learned but may have over looked back to the surface for the AHA moment.

This was a great mystery, thriller that wasn’t too cozy or too over the top. I love when a mystery is believable mystery and this hit that note for me. I also love when there’s a back ground character that actually plays a significant role but is somewhat overlooked. Tom, Diana’s husband was that for me. I loved his character and I knew that at some point he as going to show us something but I didn’t expect it to be the true character of Diana in the way they loved each other.

I give The Mother-in-Law 4 stars. Character and plot development were on point, the time frame was great and the way background info was shared was also great.

Thank you Netgalley, Sally Hepworth, and St Martin’s Press for the advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

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