"The Mistake I Made" by Paula Daly

Roz is a single mother who is at her breaking point.  She has lost her business, her debts are racking up, and her ex-husband can’t be relied upon for any help.  With her rent three months late, she comes home from work one day to find an eviction notice on her door.  She is officially out of options.

One night, at her sister’s fortieth birthday party Roz meets Scott, a friend of her sister’s and a very wealthy man.  Wealthy and married.  But that doesn’t stop Scott from pursuing Roz and knowing what kind of trouble she is in, he makes her an offer- a night with him in exchange for some money.

Roz knows she is desperate, but how desperate is she?  One night and she could get enough money to pay the rent and keep her house.  Another night and she could have all of her debt paid off.  Scott is looking for a no-strings attached relationship and discretion is of the utmost importance, so what’s the worst that could happen?  

But before Roz knows it, things are out of her control.  Someone knows about her arrangement with Scott and wants something to stay quiet.  And when someone close to Roz disappears, she finds herself having to cover her tracks before her secret gets out.

The Mistake I Made, by Paula Daly, is a captivating novel about an indecent proposal and the repercussions of an offer that seems too good to be true.

I read Paula Daly’s first book, Just What Kind of Mother Are You, when it first came out and it was one of the books that made me realize I should give the thriller genre a better chance.  I missed her second novel, Keep Your Friends Close (but do want to read it), so I made sure I didn’t miss this one (sometimes if I don’t read a book right when it comes out, I put it off and never get around to it.)  

Like the first one, this is a book that I did not want to put down and ended up reading in one day.  I started this book late in the day so I ended up reading in bed for a few hours when I really should have been sleeping.

Roz is a character that you are instantly invested in as a reader.  As I read the book I felt a mixture of pity for her because of her situation but admiration for her because of her strength.  Do I agree with her decision?  I’ve never been in her situation so who am I to say anything.  It certainly makes for a book that has you asking “what would I do” the whole way through.

In terms of story development, I felt as though much of the book was set-up and then the “thriller” part of it came in at the end.  However, that’s not a bad thing.  The set-up itself was a good read, learning about Roz and all of the difficulties she faces.  There is nothing earth-shattering about the end of the book but again, that doesn’t matter here.  Overall, the whole story flows, is an engrossing read, and sends a few chills up the spine.  Daly does a great job of crafting characters and that is the strength of this book.  

This is what I call rainy-day reading.  It’s the perfect book to curl up with on a day when you just want to stay inside.  

I received a copy of this book courtesy of Random House of Canada. The opinions expressed above are my own.


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