Her One Mistake by Heidi Perks
Her One Mistake
by Heidi Perks
Gallery Books (January 8, 2019)
Free copy provided by publisher
Even though I do not have children, I have provided babysitting services for friends and, for many years, I took care of my younger brother while my parents worked and traveled. In today’s society, which seems filled with issues like “helicopter” parenting, leaving many parents feeling judged if they make the tiniest misstep, it’s tough for me to imagine how difficult it would be for a parent to admit that they’ve lost their child, even if only for a short period of time. When I was growing up, parents laughed about leaving a child behind at home, or even at the grocery store; now, those same parents would risk having their child removed from their care.
Imagine you’ve left your child (if you have one) in the care of a close friend, who also has children, and then you are notified that your child has gone missing while in his or her care. This is the story line that weaves its way through Heidi Perks’s debut novel, Her One Mistake; it is, as you might guess, only part of the story.
Not only did this psychological thriller keep me turning pages late into the night, desperate to unfurl this harrowing tale, it also reminded me how thankful I am for the strong female characters and friendships in my own life. Among other things I enjoyed about this novel, Perks includes a very powerful female friendship, that is key to the story, and I think it made for a wonderful dynamic.
There were portions of the novel when I felt completely claustrophobic and pinned in, just like Harriet, the main character; Perks does a fantastic job of creating the setting and provided a sense of place that pulled me right into the narrative. In addition, there are some unlikable, untrustworthy characters and I had the thought that if the movie Sleeping With the Enemy, the song Goodbye Earl by Dixie Chicks and the loyalty of Thelma & Louise all came together (is my age showing yet?! - ha!) it might resemble this story.
If any of those things sound remotely interesting to you, and if you enjoy a page-turning thriller, I highly recommend this debut; it’s a quick read and has an entertaining, not frustrating, resolution.