Today I have a review of Stone Mothers by Erin Kelly, which published on Tuesday via Minotaur Books/St. Martin’s Press! Stone Mothers has been one of my most-anticipated thrillers of 2019, and it absolutely lived up to my expectations!
I remember well my experience reading He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly. Wow, did I ever find it tense and mesmerizing. Kelly has her own style. Her writing is tantalizing, completely immersing you in the minds of her characters; characters you will come to know in three-dimension, and you will feel as if you are living amongst them.
Marianne left her home in a small working class town at the age of seventeen. She left her family, her somewhat troubled, but devoted, boyfriend, Jesse, and a dead body. We know this early on, but it takes quite some time to draw out exactly what part Marianne played in the death. Slow tension, ratcheting up and up.
It’s decades later when Marianne has to return to town to care for her terminally ill mother. Her thoughtful husband has bought her a flat in a renovated former “insane asylum.” She has a connection to this place, which takes time to unfold. Marianne is also hiding from Jesse for fear of his mercurial moods. He never forgave her leaving and still seems to be longing for her.
Marianne has a house of cards she’s built. At any point, they could all come tumbling down if the truth should come out about her role. She can’t trust Jesse, and she hardly trusts herself. Her husband and daughter can never know what she did- not just because they would leave or scorn her. She has much deeper worries about them, especially her daughter.
As the story builds, we learn that Marianne may not know all there is to know about what happened, and she may be the person someone else wants to silence.
Stone Mothers has multiple narrators and timelines. They all merge as the tension reaches fever pitch, and thread-by-thread, the story comes brilliantly together. It was that same kind of cross-walked masterful storytelling I experienced with He Said/She Said.
Stone Mothers is not a banging thriller with twists and turns at every corner. Instead, it is a character-driven, chilling, and suspenseful with precise storytelling and a completely original plot. I find Erin Kelly’s style refreshing, engaging, and enthralling.
Slower burns may not be for everyone, but they most definitely are for me. As a reader, I have time and space to analyze, ponder, and build theories. I can breathe and relax into the story and get to know the characters. I may even feel as if I am part of the story as I did in this case. I absolutely love that.
I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
Erin Kelly, the masterful author of He Said/She Said, delivers another irresistible, unputdownable novel of psychological suspense.
You can’t keep the secret.
You can’t tell the truth.
You can’t escape the past…
Marianne was seventeen when she fled her home in Nusstead – leaving behind her family, her boyfriend, Jesse, and the body they buried. Now, thirty years later, forced to return to in order to help care for her sick mother, she can feel the past closing around her. And Jesse, who never forgave her for leaving in the first place, is finally threatening to expose the truth.
Marianne will do anything to protect the life she’s built, the husband and daughter who must never know what happened all those years ago. Even if it means turning to her worst enemy for help… But Marianne may not know the whole story – and she isn’t the only one with secrets they’d kill to keep.
Have you read Stone Mothers, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR