Published by Quercus Books,
6 August 2020.
ISBN: 978-1-52940-084-7 (HB)
The author is an international best-seller writer and,
in his latest novel, has high expectations to satisfy. The plot line is simple. What do two
families do when a shocking discovery
reveals that, in the neo natal intensive care unit of the hospital, their cherished
sons, (now two year toddlers) were accidentally switched at birth and given to
the wrong mothers?
we have here are two very different sets of parents - one struggling to make
ends meet, the other well-to do. Pete, who’s a freelance journalist and a stay-
at- home, hands on, father to Theo, has an Australian partner, Maddie who works
in advertising. Miles is married to
Lucy; they own a smart house, are comfortably off and David is their little
to Pete and Maddie, Miles had hired a private investigator, Don, to secure a sample of Theo’s DNA. Don did
this by furtively going to Theo’s nursery school and illegally removing his sippy
cup that contained his DNA. The test result showed that Theo’s relationship to
Miles and Lucy was in no doubt whatsoever and confirmed that he was their
biological child. A DNA test of David
was organised by Miles and Lucy that established he’s not related to them.
is a headstrong little boy with a bullying nature that’s causing the nursery
school some concern, although Pete is more than willing to work with nursery
staff to iron out the problems. Theo’s resemblance to Miles is striking. David,
however, is more passive with challenging mental and physical issues caused by his
very premature birth and is a look alike to Maddie’s younger brother. On the other hand, Miles and Lucy have the
means to provide David with the necessary, life-long special care.
and Lucy decide to sue the hospital where the swap occurred that triggers an
internal investigation. The negotiations
between the two couples are, initially, cordial but then the relationship
explodes as Miles becomes increasingly, irrational and unreasonable and, indeed, psychopathic, and
determined by fair means or foul to get back possession of Theo.
this book is a high-wire trip. It’s slick, un-putdownable, with twists and turns, taking the reader out of his/her comfort zone and goes well beyond a noir domestic drama. The author’s narrative
skill and character development is hard
to beat, and turns the cliché of swapped
babies into something totally gripping and compulsive. Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Serena Fairfax
JP Delaney is the pseudonym of an author who has previously written award-winning fiction under other names.
Serena Fairfax spent her childhood in India, qualified as a lawyer in England and practiced in London for many years. She began writing by contributing feature articles to legal periodicals then turned her hand to fiction. Having published nine novels all, bar one, hardwired with a romantic theme, she has also written short stories and accounts of her explorations off the beaten track that feature on her blog. Her tenth, novel has been published. Thrillers, crime and mystery narratives, collecting old masks and singing are a few of her favourite things.