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Extended Audio Sample The Wrong Mother: A Novel, by Sophie Hannah Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,225 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sophie Hannah Narrator: Elizabeth Sastre Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Simon Waterhouse and Charlie Zailer Series Release Date: September 2009 ISBN: 9781101196007
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Sally Thorning is watching the news with her husband when she hears an unexpected name. Mark Bretherick. It’s a name she shouldn’t know, but last year Sally treated herself to a secret vacation away from her hectic family life—and met a man. After their brief affair, the two planned to never meet again. But now, Mark’s wife and daughter are dead—and the safety of Sally’s own family is in doubt. 

With accomplished prose and a plot guaranteed to keep readers guessing, The Wrong Mother is Hannah’s most captivating work yet. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Gripping.”

    Tana French, New York Times bestselling author of In the Woods

  • “Hannah goes in for all those bizarre plot twists and outlandish behaviors that have come to define the psychological-suspense story, but she does it with style and wit.”

    New York Times

  • “Sophie Hannah just gets better and better. Her plots are brilliantly cunning and entirely unpredictable. The writing is brilliant and brings us uncomfortably close to the dark, ambivalent impulse experienced by the parents of difficult, demanding children.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “Sophie Hannah’s ingenious, almost surreal mysteries are so intricately constructed that it’s impossible to guess how they will end.”

    Daily Telegraph (London)

  • “[The Wrong Mother] is [Hannah’s] most accomplished novel yet. As the revelations tumble forth, the tension is screwed ever tighter until the final shocking outcome. Exemplary.”

    Daily Express (London)

  • “This is a superior exercise in storytelling that takes time away from the killer-on-the-loose cop chase to reflect on the chillingly plausible thin line between parenting and psychosis.”

    Financial Times

  • The Wrong Mother is a pacy page-turner and a searing account of the challenges of motherhood.”

    Scotsman

  • “Shockingly (and refreshingly) blunt riffs about the violent emotions of motherhood and the familial yearnings of men, along with chilling and darkly funny revelations about lust and loyalty, make this novel one of the season’s most absorbing reads.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Hannah reinforces her reputation as a great new thriller writer. Chilling, compulsive, and with a genius twist.”

    Elle

  • “Hannah doesn’t allow the tension to slacken for a second in this addictive, brilliantly thrilling chiller.”

    Marie Claire

  • “Brilliantly creepy.”

    Red magazine

  • “Sophie Hannah has demonstrated a firm hold on the psychologically tense novel, quickly establishing herself as a writer of top-notch thrillers.”

    Time Out (London)

  • “Paced like a ticking time bomb with flawlessly distinct characterization, this is a fiercely fresh and unputdownable read.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Part psychological thriller and part police procedural...A bestseller in Britain...this gripping novel deserves similar success here.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • The Wrong Mother is an unputdownable read.”

    BookPage

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Doraluz Gallegos | 2/16/2014

    " Wow! What a story, I didn't know what to think with so many twists and turns. It was difficult at first, I'm not use to the English vocabulary and sayings, but half way through the book, I didn't even notice anymore. I wonder how authors come up with these ideas and plots! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rosemarie | 2/15/2014

    " Really enjoyed this book - it's a page turner! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maggie | 2/10/2014

    " I really enjoyed the first four fifths of this book. The build up to the climax was suspenseful and well written, but the actual climax and the end of the book disappointed me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine | 2/6/2014

    " A bit of a slow start, but turning into a good British mystery. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel Brand | 1/29/2014

    " I really enjoyed my first Sophie Hannah novel - can't wait to read more of her books! I've recently been reading quite a few thrillers but I think I'm going to tone it down a bit and rebound on chick-lit as they can be quite sad sometimes. As much as I enjoyed this book and didn't want to put it down (as I wanted to know who killed Geraldine and Lucy) I hated to read about Sally when "Mark" kept her prisoner and wanted to get her pregnant with his child. And "Geraldine's" diary entries horrified me - there was a part where she said she wanted to tell infertile women how lucky they were. How can anyone say something like that? I would be devestated if I found out that I couldn't have children; no matter what happens in my life, I would give up everything to get married and have a child. So that particular comment struck home. Anyway, the mystery was really intriguing and the best part of the book (even if parts of the plot were a bit upsetting) but I didn't feel like I really knew any of the characters properly, except for Sally. Overall, 8/10. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stefanie | 1/21/2014

    " I found the writing of this story to be very captivating. It definitely drew me in and there were some interesting moral dilemmas presented about life, the choices we make and how those affect our lives. Overall I had a hard time putting this book down and enjoyed the twists. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karilyn | 1/20/2014

    " Following teh same style as Little Face, this book again examinez teh interworkings of families, especially those of working mothers and there children. The plot is good and keeps you guessing till the end. As always, all gets revealed in the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Victoria | 1/20/2014

    " I wish I had read these books in the right order as the back story of the reoccuring characters is all out of sync for me now! However Sophie Hannah has impressed me yet again - I think I am a firm fan. A twisted, psychological thriller that had me engrossed right the way through. I still dislike the reoccuring characters - even more so with every book I read. I dont believe they are really needed and yet they get a reaction from me which is rare. Being a Bookseller I read a hell of a lot of books and most I read, once I have finished I put it down with a 'that was quite nice' and then forget about them. Hannah's books make me finish with a different sort of feeling in me - an intense dislike for the characters that reoccur in every book and also a satisfied one because the psychological twista are fantastic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meghan | 1/14/2014

    " Sophie Hannah has done it once again! I just love her. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nicole Klieff | 1/1/2014

    " Would duplicate exactly what the previous reviewer has said...starts brilliantly with the middle part of the book keeping you interested albeit trying to distinguish who is who and finishing rather as a horror story than a criminial one! Disappointing! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cheri | 12/29/2013

    " Ok but nowhere near as good as tana French's novels (who hannah has been compared to). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kellie | 12/25/2013

    " I found Sally Thornton to be an IDIOT, for multiple reasons. There were parts of this that were exciting, but I thought it was so convoluted that I had a hard time figuring out what was going on, even after the mystery was solved. Overall, I didn't like it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janet | 12/23/2013

    " Interesting premise; poorly executed "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gillian | 12/22/2013

    " Considering the write up I thought this was weak. Not in the last frightening at all in fact I thought one of the main characters, Sally Thorning, was pathetic and totally unbelievable I had no sympathy for her at all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 L | 11/26/2013

    " The plot is over-the-top to the point of absurd. However, if you can accept that, the tale is well told. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caren Nelson | 11/23/2013

    " Holy cow!!! In the language of the author I was gobsmacked!!! I am not great at unraveling mysteries and this was no exception...I was lost for most of it, but I was completely taken in by this story and where it was going. I couldn't put it down and I will definitely be reading her first novel now! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy | 11/22/2013

    " I thought this was a clever book with interesting twists and turns, especially at the end. I enjoyed reading it a lot!--Nancy "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 11/8/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book . . well written, suspenseful. Looking forward to reading other books by this author! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 9/4/2013

    " This was a very complicated story that was quite difficult to believe, but I enjoyed the people involved in the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ami | 8/14/2013

    " This was my second of Hannah's books. It was interesting and engaging, even though there were a couple of little details that weren't adequately explained. But in the end, it left me with a pretty creepy feeling. As did The Dead Lie Down. Creepy. So I don't think I'll be reading more of her books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erin | 6/25/2013

    " Excellent English whodunnit. I just had no idea through the entire novel and even when I thought the conclusion had been concluded - it hadn't! The surprises kept coming. Really hard-to-put down novel. Loved it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tfalcone | 3/10/2013

    " Good mystery - drags a little toward the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Signora | 12/13/2012

    " Suspenseful with a twist at the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ivie | 7/3/2012

    " The twists and turns of this book kept me turning the pages. I thought it was better than Gone Girl. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurel | 4/25/2012

    " I can't say I thought this book was that well written and I often was confused by all of the characters, but I think the idea behind the book was compelling and it kept me guessing to the very end. That's why the 4 stars. I would read another of Hannah's books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pamela Beason | 8/25/2011

    " The author did something really challenging, and it more or less worked. I kept wondering who was truly who throughout this book, which kept me confused, but also kept me reading. I thought the solution was improbable, but overall, it was a good suspenseful read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Beth Briggs | 6/8/2011

    " I felt very annoyed with the main character Sally. I felt the book just rambled on and on and was not a thriller at all. There were points where it was strong, but overall it was not one of the best crime/thriller novels that I have read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carmen | 5/8/2011

    " Love this psycho drama type of book. The story is more about the why than the how. A man was unhappy with his family, so he decided to get a new family. He just chose a unique why to go about it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandy | 5/5/2011

    " This was a very creepy book but I couldn't put it down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 4/20/2011

    " Ok. Very strange premise, but I really appreciated her portrayal of the working professional with two small kids. Can relate. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 4/10/2011

    " I really wanted this book to be better. The story stared out fine, but ended terrbily. I do not like books that invent facts at the end to make the whole thing wrap up nicely. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 4/5/2011

    " The book was okay. The pace was kind of slow, but not intolerably so. The ending left more questions unanswered than answered. And not in the good way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lori | 4/5/2011

    " Good mystery book- loved the ending- "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rebecca | 4/3/2011

    " meh. This book was ok, very predictable, pretty standard murder mystery storyline. I wan't impressed by the characters. It was sometimes hard to keep the characters straight since there were so many people's points of view. I don't think I feel the need to read any more of her books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tori | 4/3/2011

    " Very interesting--another great mystery. I liked it more than "Little Face" but not as much as "The Truth Teller's Lie." She continues to put Joyce Carol Oates to shame. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny | 3/31/2011

    " I couldn't put this down! It dragged a little while Sally was kidnapped (and I'm still not sure why they couldn't figure out Hey was Amy's father any sooner) but overall it was very compelling. I will definitely look up more of Hannah's work! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tricia | 3/30/2011

    " it was interesting....I liked it but it was a little anti-climatic on the "why" the murders happened, I thought that part should have been better. "

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