I’m sure this isn’t done deliberately by publishers or writers, but it does strike me as interesting that just in time for Mother’s Day, we have two new thrillers, both of which involve mothers and motherhood as a critical element in ratcheting up the suspense. Whether you’re getting sick of all the sweetness of the usual Mother’s Day tributes or whether you just appreciate a good dark look at something we’re all very familiar with, check out these new thrillers at The Field Library.
One of the hardest things a mother can face is the disappearance of a child, whether that disappearance is due to death or crime or whether the child in question has been in trouble or alienated from his family for a long time before the disappearance. It must be worse to have to face that grief if your day job is as a psychotherapist, dealing with other people’s painful emotions on a regular basis. That’s the starting situation for Ruth Hartland, the protagonist of A Good Enough Mother, by Bev Thomas. Ruth’s son, Tom, disappeared a year and a half ago, and while she has no reason to hope he’ll return, she still doesn’t have any kind of closure, and the half life of waiting and almost hoping is draining her. So probably it’s not a great idea for her to treat her new patient, Dan, who looks strikingly like Tom and reminds Ruth in dangerous ways of her lost and damaged son, but Ruth does anyway, setting herself up for a professional and personal nightmare.
Those first days and weeks of motherhood can be really stressful for a family and especially for a mother who’s just given birth. So it’s natural enough that a new mother like Lauren Tranter would be utterly exhausted and maybe having irrational thoughts in Little Darlings by Melanie Golding. When she tells people that she saw someone in her hospital room trying to steal her newborn twins and replace them with other babies, nobody believes her, even her doctor. But a month later, the twins disappear from her side at a park, and when they’re found, she’s convinced they aren’t really her children. Again, nobody believes her, attributing her wild talk to the stress she’s suffering, but Lauren is convinced, and she intends to get her real children back. The concept of stolen babies replaced with changelings is a very old one, with deep roots; it was explored in a terrifying and enthralling way in The Changeling, this year’s Fantasy Award winner (reviewed here). If Little Darlings is half as creepy and disturbing as that book, it’s going to be a fun Mother’s Day read (for certain definitions of “fun”).
Celebrate Mother’s Day by contemplating the worst that can happen to mothers. Come in and check out our new thrillers.