Book Review: The Playdate by Louise Millar

The lives of 3 very different women (Callie, Suzy, and Debs) collide on a small London street in the new psychological thriller, The Playdate (2012), by Louise Millar. As a mother, the most important job is to keep your child safe, but there are times when you have to ask others to help you. This book asks the question "What if you left your child with the wrong person? How much do we really know our friends and those hired to care for our children?"

Callie is the divorced mother of a chronically ill daughter, and Suzy is her American expatriate friend. Callie has had a difficult time caring for her child with no family around and her ex-husband in another country. She has had to rely on Suzy, who has been very supportive of Callie and her daughter during some difficult times including long hospitalizations due to the girl's heart defect. But Callie longs to become more independent now that her daughter is feeling better. She decides to go back to her career, but has a hard time breaking away from Suzy.

Debs is the stranger with a secret past who has just moved in with her new husband. Debs enters the picture when, as a teacher at their school, she is involved in an accident involving Callie's daughter. The exact details of the accident are unclear, with contradictory accounts from Suzy and Debs. When the police decide to investigate, Debs secret is revealed.

Meanwhile, Suzy is dealing with her own issues at home. Her husband, Jez, seems detached from the family, holing up in his office all day and night. Suzy begins to suspect that there could be another woman, so she hires a private investigator, not knowing that Jez's secret is right under her nose. She is also behaving strangely with Callie and her daughter, making it impossible for Callie to break it off with her.

Secrets and betrayal abound in this book. Each character is hiding something that could destroy their lives and the lives of those around them if revealed. But all is revealed at a playdate involving Callie's daughter and Suzy's son.

The story grabs you from the start and doesn't let go until you are breathless and trembling at the thought that this could really happen. It makes you look at your life and your friends and ask yourself how well you really know them. All any of us really know about someone is what they have told us. But have they told us everything? And is it in them to harm our child? It will make you want to wrap your arms around your children and never let them out of your sight.

You can purchase the book from the iBookstore.

The Playdate - Louise Millar

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