Wednesday, July 28, 2021

The Stepdaughter - Mystery Review

Goodreads:  The Stepdaughter by Georgina Cross

Rating: Really Liked It!
Source: Gift

Description:  It’s a normal afternoon when I walk out the patio doors of our kitchen to check on Mia, my stepdaughter, who is swimming in our backyard pool. But she’s gone. My heart stops when I see the back gate is open, her pink, fluffy towel lying folded on a chair. I was just feet away. Why didn’t I hear her scream? Who took our little girl?

My husband can’t understand how I could I have let his daughter disappear. And when the police come asking questions, I wish I could wind back time to that normal afternoon when I was cooking lasagna for my family, Mia’s favorite. I can tell the officers don’t believe me: they’ve cast me as the evil stepmother.

I just wish I could understand the messages I’ve found from my husband on Mia’s phone: I’m so sorry, I still love you. And why his wedding ring is found at the bottom of the pool after Mia disappeared. He never told me it was missing. What else is he hiding?

But the detective keeps asking me where I was during those ten minutes when Mia vanished. And I can’t tell her my secret. From the way she’s looking at me, I know she thinks I did something to my stepdaughter. Mia and I haven’t always been that close and sometimes she drives me nuts, just like any normal teenager, but I would never hurt her.

I just need you to believe me.

Genre: Mystery - Suspense

Why I Picked This Book:  This is a local author which had me curious and I thought a more thriller-y read would be a nice break from all the cozies I've been reading.  

My Impression:  To be honest I almost didn't read this one.  It breaks my number one reading rule which I have been very strict about lately - no children in peril.  However, because it was a gift from my mother and I was afraid she would ask me about it I forced myself to give it a try.  And I'm so glad I did!  I was hooked from the first page to the last and couldn't wait to find out what happened next!

The author does a good job of balancing pacing with a detachment from the characters so that I was pulled in but not super connected to the characters.  It definitely is more plot driven then character driven and while the story is told in first person with several different POVs it feels more of a fly on the wall narration.  I really wanted to know what happened and kept sneaking off to read "just one more chapter" but wouldn't have been emotionally crushed no matter what the outcome which made for a fantastic reading experience.  

I really enjoyed this read and am excited to find a new author outside of cozy mystery land!  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I'll definitely be looking for more from this author.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you like plot driven suspense novels then I think you' d really enjoy this one!  


  1. So happy this one worked well for you. I love when I find a surprise winner.

  2. Well there you go, your mother picked out a good book and it sounds really riveting. Oh I'd have been so tempted to sneak a look at the back!

  3. I'm glad it was a hit! I love domestic suspense/thrillers, so this sounds like my kind of book.