Book Review: The Stepmother – Claire Seeber ****

There are many reasons for despising Southern Rail at the moment – cancelling my train means that it takes twice as long to get to work. This does mean that I get even more time to read though and I nearly missed my stop yesterday because I was so engrossed in this edge of your seat psychological thriller.

As the book opens Jeanie is just about to marry Matthew. A handsome and successful divorcé, he has swept her off her feet in a bit of a whirlwind romance. Now she finds herself moving into their fairy-tale cottage near Berkhamsted with her teenage son Frank and Matthew’s younger teen twins Scarlett and Lucas. Jeanie soon realises that being the Stepmother doesn’t mean that she is automatically accepted into the family. While Luke is sweet and accepting she is finding it harder to win over the prickly Scarlett.

When mail starts to arrive alluding to a dark secret in Jeanie’s past she realises that she should have come clean to Matthew before the wedding and now with everything that is going on it is not the perfect time to explain what happened. Cracks are starting to appear and she is beginning to realise that she may have bitten off more than she can chew.

There are so many strands to this book. The characters are all so beautifully crafted that they leap out of the page. Trusting and naïve Jeanie, her sister Marlena – the gritty London journalist – and Kaye the beautiful and bitter ex-wife. All make for a twisty-turny tale that will have you on the edge of your seat and begging for the seven dwarves as light relief!

This was my first book by Claire Seeber but I’ll definitely be adding her to my must-read authors list.

Supplied by Net Gallery and Bookouture in exchange for an honest review.

UK Publication Date: 15 July 2016. 346 pages.

The Stepmother: A gripping psychological thriller with a killer twist

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