Book Review: The Mistake I Made by Paula Daly

August 24, 2015 Book review 12 ★★★½

I love that this book tackles ethics and some big questions straight on!  It’s a book just made for discussion and if you are in a book club, then you need to get this one on your reading list.

Book Review: The Mistake I Made by Paula DalyThe Mistake I Made by Paula Daly
Published by Bantam Press on August 27th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Psychological, Suspense, Thriller
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon

The Mistake I Made is the latest page-turner from one of the England’s most captivating new thriller writers. In her provocative and riveting third novel, Paula Daly focuses her masterful eye for psychological suspense and family drama on an indecent proposal that has fatal repercussions.

Single mother Roz has reached breaking-point. After the dissolution of her marriage, Roz’s business has gone under, debts are racking up, the rent is late (again), and she's struggling to provide for her nine-year-old son, who is starting to misbehave in school. Roz is in trouble. Real trouble. When Roz returns home from work one day and finds an eviction notice, she knows that it’s time for action—she has two weeks to find a solution otherwise they will be kicked out of their home.

Increasingly desperate, Roz doesn’t know where to turn. Then the perfect opportunity presents itself. At her sister’s fortieth birthday party, Roz meets Scott Elias—wealthy, powerful, and very married. But the impression Roz leaves on him is indelible. He tracks her down and makes Roz an offer to spend the night with him—for money. He wants no-strings-attached intimacy and can guarantee total discretion. Could it be as simple as it sounds? With that kind of cash, Roz could clear her debts and get her life back on track. But as the situation spirals out of her control, Roz is forced to do things she never thought herself capable of. Can she ever set things right again?

First Line of The Mistake I Made by Paula Daly:

“Bodies were my business.”

My Thoughts on The Mistake I Made by Paula Daly:

I thoroughly enjoyed squirming my way through this one.  The theme is dark and disturbing and it digs deep into the seedier side of life.  Roz is a struggling single mother.  Despite having a good career as a physiotherapist, she is finding it impossible to make ends meet as she has accumulated huge debts in the past, thanks mostly to her ex-husband.  So when she is gets a proposition along the lines of Indecent Proposal from one of her clients, she finds herself seriously considering it.

This is a book that everyone will have their own thoughts about and mine run along the lines of NO WAY, NO HOW!  But I can see why Roz considers it.  I did find it annoying that she didn’t explore other avenues (like approach family) but that is explained in part in the book.  But not fully, I still think she should have been honest about just how bad her financial circumstances were.  Still I understood her motivation.

But Scott (the married man who was offering to pay), I hated him!  His excuse was paltry.  He wanted real intimacy with a real woman.  But when you add money in, that equation just doesn’t work.

What I really enjoyed about the book was that unexpected events cropped up and it’s not a predictable read.  I definitely didn’t love the characters but I fully appreciated how complex they were and I know when I love to hate a character that is a good sign for how developed they are.

The only downside for me was that while it started out very realistic and relatable, it then went the other extreme and got a little too melodramatic.

Overall though this is a quick, entertaining read because when everything starts spiralling out of control, it becomes impossible to put down.  Thumbs up and I definitely want to read more by Paula Daly as I really enjoyed how she set the scene and built interesting characters.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: three-half-stars


Who should read The Mistake I Made by Paula Daly?

I’d recommend this to fans of domestic psychological thrillers who like moral ethics themes.  Fans of Samantha Hayes, Sinead Crowley and C L Taylor should also enjoy this one.  If you don’t like reading about adultery and betrayal, then this is not the book for you!

Thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK, Transworld Publishers for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest unbiased review


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12 Responses to “Book Review: The Mistake I Made by Paula Daly”

  1. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    This does sound like quite a read! I was squirming a bit during the blurb so while it’s well done I’m not sure this is the book for me! It is interesting to consider the would you/won’t you circumstances of the situation and I can see just from the blurb how Roz would think this would work. I’ll have to look for more from this author if not this exact book.
    Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library recently posted…Plantation Shudders – Review

    • trish

      I was squirming while reading too as it’s just such an uncomfortable theme. But it really put you inside her head and I could see her reasoning. This is the only one I’ve read so far but I will be checking out more of her books.

    • trish

      It would be excellent for book club as there is so much to discuss. In fact I would have loved to have someone on hand to chat to about it too 🙂

  2. jenclair

    I do like unpredictable reads, even if I don’t like “indecent proposals.” I passed on this at NetGalley, but may go back and see if it is still available. 🙂

    • trish

      I like unpredictable too and I had no idea when I started just where this would end up. Hope you enjoy it, if you get it 🙂

    • trish

      It did make me feel very uncomfortable as I could see why she went down the route she did. It made for a fascinating read!

    • trish

      Me too, I always think unlikeable characters are far more interesting! I love seeing what makes them tick 🙂

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