Sometimes I just want to be swept away by a story but what does it for me isn’t a great romance, no my getaway is fraught with angst and secrets, a quest for the truth and a bit of action. Deborah O’Connor must have known this when she wrote My Husband’s Son!
We first meet Heidi when returning from a sales pitch she walks into an off-licence for a bottle of wine! So far so typical but in the back of the shop is a young boy who she thinks is the spitting image of her husband’s missing son, Barney.
Heidi has also lost a daughter, although the details of her daughter’s murder are left fairly sketchy throughout the book. Jason’s loss is different, he firmly believes his son is still alive and he still deals with the double-edged sword which is the press interest in the story. His study, holds the age progression pictures that have been generated to keep the public aware that Barney is still missing. Jason and Heidi got together after his marriage to Barney’s mother Vicky withered in the year after losing Barney.
I like a book with secrets and this book is dripping in them, and most are not where or what you expect at all but what the reader has to decide is the boy Barney or is Heidi just seeing what she wants to see? And all the while as the story of the disappearance is poured over while Heidi’s obvious distress at the loss of her daughter and her longing for another child is ever present. This is a relentless tale and one that I got completely caught up in. Quite often when plots are fairly unrealistic either in the events or the character’s actions, I get pulled out of the story which ruins the experience for me but even though Heidi’s actions seemed at best a little disordered, I was able to buy it. Perhaps because of the circumstances she found herself in.
Unusually, and I only realised this when I was reading My Husband’s Son, there is a fair amount of sex in this novel – not overly salacious in detail but enough to take me by surprise because I realised that the books I read rarely have sex-scenes in them at all, rest assured though this is all linked with the main story-line!
With Heidi trying to get Jason to believe she’s found his son and forced to take devious routes to get to the truth it is unsurprising that she finds herself in a spot of bother more than once. That does mean of course that there is plenty of action as well as a general feeling of unease that pervades once you realise that everything is not quite what it first appeared to be!
What My Husband’s Son is, is a perfectly paced piece of psychological suspense. A book that drives on unremittingly dragging the reader along in its wake. I found myself reassessing what I thought was going to happen as another piece of information was slipped into a scene and that continued without the dreaded dip up until the end.
I’d like to say a huge thank you to the publishers Twenty7 Books for another excellent debut novel, and for allowing me to read a copy of My Husband’s Son before the eBook publication date of 16 June 2016.