Review: The Mother In Law by Sally Hepworth


Release date: April 23, 2019

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


Someone once told me that you have two families in your life – the one you are born into and the one you choose. Yes, you may get to choose your partner, but you don’t choose your mother-in-law. The cackling mercenaries of fate determine it all.

From the moment Lucy met Diana, she was kept at arm’s length. Diana is exquisitely polite, but Lucy knows, even after marrying Oliver, that they’ll never have the closeness she’d been hoping for.

But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice, the matriarch of a loving family. Lucy had wanted so much to please her new mother-in-law.

That was ten years ago. Now, Diana has been found dead, leaving a suicide note. But the autopsy reveals evidence of suffocation. And everyone in the family is hiding something…

From the bestselling author of The Family Next Door comes a new page-turner about that trickiest of relationships. 


Sally Hepworth is constantly being compared to Liane Moriarty and not just because they’re both Australian, female writers. I get the comparison, they both write lighter style suspense, no blood and guts, just good old fashioned who dunnits with a modern twist that focus on domestic secrets and betrayals. As much as I love LM dare I say I love SH more?! Yep, I just did, her books are the true definition of unputdownable and there is always more than meets the eye with everything from the plot itself to the characters and their motivations, histories and secrets.

Mother and daughter in law relationships are endlessly fascinating to me, maybe it’s because I truly have such a fantastic relationship with my own MIL (seriously, she is THE BEST) but there are always highly complex dynamics between a mom and her sons wife no matter how great the two women get along, there is always something tricky about them and Diana and Lucy’s is no different. You hear from both women, Diana in the past and Lucy in both the past and present and at first glance you assume many things about them both. I’m beginning to understand that making assumptions while reading a SH book is just not smart, she’s a clever writer and has so many tricks up her sleeve. That’s all I’m saying about that.

This was pure entertainment, the best kind of read because you get totally sucked in and before you know it, half the book is over. There’s a steadily building style of suspense, the chapters get shorter as you get closer to the end and the tension is raised as well. The ending was super solid and the whole thing was unique, this really felt like something new in the world of domestic suspense and made me a firm fan of the author.

The Mother In Law in three words: Fresh, Fascinating and Complicated

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

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