I’ve heard of M.M. Chouinard’s books particularly the Detective Jo Fournier series of which The Other Mothers is Book #4. Since I hadn’t read her books before, I didn’t know what to expect. I did not plan on being blown away as I was though!
The Other Mothers
It’s a crisp spring morning when the small-town community around Briar Ridge Elementary School is shattered by devastating news. Bright and shy five-year-old Nicole has disappeared at playtime.
Nicole’s mother, Gia, is lost in her grief. On the same day her baby girl vanished, Gia found out she was pregnant with the sister Nicole had begged for. Gia is also devastated that her best friend Karen was supervising the playground when Nicole was taken. And when Nicole’s body is discovered, Gia can’t help but ask: why didn’t Karen protect her little girl?
Someone knows what happened in school that day and Detective Jo Fournier is determined to find the truth. Jo’s little nieces also attend Briar Ridge and she would cross mountains to keep them safe. As she starts to dig into the mothers’ secrets, she begins to wonder if anyone is telling the truth. Gia’s been hiding a part of herself for years and Jo can tell it’s eating her apart. And Karen is definitely lying—but what is more important than finding the killer of her best friend’s daughter?
As Gia and Karen struggle with their guilt, a teacher at Briar Ridge dies in what looks like a tragic accident. But with two deaths in such a short time, Jo knows better than that. In this school, where soccer moms flock to the gates with cookies for teachers, someone is willing to kill to keep a secret. The only question is who.
A completely addictive thriller that will not let you go until you turn the last heart-thumping page! Perfect for fans of Gregg Olsen, Christopher Greyson and Teresa Driscoll.
Buy The Other Mothers
Detective Jo Fournier, recovering from a miscarriage, and still emotionally vulnerable is called in by her partner to the scene of crime – the school her nieces study in! The body of the 5-year old Nicole has been found in the school yard and now almost everyone is a suspect – her parents, teachers, school staff, older children, parents, friends and enemies.
As Jo and her partner Arnett start to question people and gather evidence, the book proceeds at a fast and even pace. Every one seems to have secrets and the best part is that we’re given a peek but not the whole story. So the author leaves us guessing.
Even as the detectives and readers are trying to uncover which sick person would stoop to killing an innocent child, the author presents us with another murder. This time it’s a teacher who dies on a school field trip to a museum. Is there a connection between the murders? Can the detectives act fast enough to prevent another tragedy?
It’s hard to say more about the plot without giving something away, so I’m just saying how cleverly the author weaves this story. It has so much of raw emotion, so many different characters with possible motives, small town dynamics, family secrets. Jo’s own emotions and family dynamics are also written about so brilliantly.
In the recent past, I’m drawn to read more thrillers, mysteries and The Other Mothers certainly reinforced this new interest. It was a hard to put down book and I couldn’t stop until I discovered who the culprit was! A thoroughly enjoyable whodunit!
Meet The Author:
M.M. Chouinard’s first fiction story was published in her local paper when she was eight, and she fell in love with Agatha Christie novels not long after. While pursuing a Ph.D in psychology and helping to found the first U.S. research university of the new millennium, the stories kept rattling around inside her skull, demanding to come out. For sanity’s sake, she released them. She’s currently at work on her next novel.
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Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.