Book Reviews

Book Review: Her One Mistake, by Heidi Perks

Her One Mistake,

by Heidi Perks

Publication:  Gallery Books; January 8, 2019

her one mistakeAbout the book:

What should have been a fun-filled, carefree day takes a tragic turn for the worse for one mother when her best friend’s child goes missing in this suspenseful, compulsively readable and darkly twisted psychological thriller. 

It all started at the school fair…

Charlotte was supposed to be looking after the children, and she swears she was. She only took her eyes off of them for one second. But when her three kids are all safe and sound at the school fair, and Alice, her best friend Harriet’s daughter, is nowhere to be found, Charlotte panics. Frantically searching everywhere, Charlotte knows she must find the courage to tell Harriet that her beloved only child is missing. And admit that she has only herself to blame.

Harriet, devastated by this unthinkable, unbearable loss, can no longer bring herself to speak to Charlotte again, much less trust her. Now more isolated than ever and struggling to keep her marriage afloat, Harriet believes nothing and no one. But as the police bear down on both women trying to piece together the puzzle of what happened to this little girl, dark secrets begin to surface—and Harriet discovers that confiding in Charlotte again may be the only thing that will reunite her with her daughter….

This breathless and fast-paced debut—perfect for fans of Big Little Lies and The Couple Next Door—takes you on a chilling journey that will keep you guessing until the very last page.

*My Review*

I meant to have this review up last week before publication, but somehow, the days slipped away from me. Heidi Perks/ novel, Her One Mistake, is about a woman named Charlotte who babysits her friend Harriet’s daughter Alice one day. Harriet has never left her daughter with anyone before but agrees to Charlotte taking her to the school fair so that Harriet can attend a bookkeeping class. A few hours later, Alice is missing and Charlotte must face her friend and tell her that her daughter vanished. 

So, thrillers are a love/hate thing for me. I never had any interest in the genre at all until I started blogging and seeing other bloggers’ reviews of various books. Soon, I found myself hooked and wanted to read every new thriller that was coming out. But then, I started feeling bored and thinking that so many of them sounded similar to other books. Her One Mistake was certainly unique, but I can’t say that I loved this one.

I’m on the fence for a number of reasons. First of all, I didn’t find any of the characters even remotely likable, which makes it difficult to feel invested in the story. Harriet just got on my nerves, her husband Brian was completely atrocious, and Charlotte was just, well, she was kind of “blah.” I sympathized with her situation, I mean, imagine losing your friend’s child while at a school fair! I mean, how the hell do you explain that to a said friend later in the day? But besides being divorced, having children of her own, and babysitting Alice the day she was kidnapped, I didn’t really learn enough about her to care one way or the other.

Secondly, I’m not why there were jumps in time between right before, right after, and then maybe a week or so after Alice’s kidnapping. We’re only talking a few weeks so I didn’t feel that the back and forth was needed or relevant in regards to building suspense. 

Lastly, the suspense was inconsistent. The novel starts, Harriet’s nervous about letting someone babysit Alice for the first time, and then Alice goes missing. This was good stuff and I was really into the story. But then, the next 60-75% of the novel is police interviews, Charlotte’s guilt, and Brian continuing to screw with Harriet’s head. 

Nevertheless, there were things that I loved about Her One Mistake. Heidi Perks nailed Brian’s character as far as making him such a manipulative snake. As the novel progresses, he continually accuses Harriet of “forgetting things,” but eventually it becomes clear that he’s just screwing with her mind. As much as I hated him and what he was doing, the author did a fantastic job of developing his character.

This part will be short and sweet, but I also kind of loved how before you even knew what the hell was going on, you could kind of tell that Harriet and Charlotte were still feeling the friendly/sisterly love for one another. Granted, Harriet wasn’t very welcoming the first time they got together after the kidnapping, but it did become apparent throughout the novel that they still cared for one another and missed their friendship.

Furthermore, I loved how the author built on and described the emotional impact Alice’s kidnapping had on Charlotte, her kids, and basically, her everyday life. Yes, Perks clearly described Harriet’s emotions and fears after her daughter went missing, but I loved how she illustrated the way “friends” suddenly become “less than friends” when there is a controversial issue. It was raw, honest, uncomfortable and perfectly depicted how fairweather some friends can be.

Overall, this was an entertaining read that was suspenseful, but I think it focused more on the psychological. Perks perfectly described the effects and damage of emotional/mental abuse and how desperate a person can become to create a safe and stable life. She also demonstrated all of the reasons not to trust in those you consider your friends and that you never truly know who a person is. 

*Thanks to NetGalley and Gallery Books for providing this review copy in exchange for my honest review!

Purchase Her One Mistake on Amazon.


2 thoughts on “Book Review: Her One Mistake, by Heidi Perks”

  1. I appreciate the insightful review. I love this genre, but after reading so many, some of the books are starting to sound the same. Between the titles, and plots I sometimes have to refocus and try to remember which I’ve read, LOL.

    This book sounds like it has potential, but I don’t know that I will rush out and read it. Love the cover! Wishing the author the best.

    Also, I have to mention that I DEVOURED The Couple Next Door! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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