Monday 23 October 2023

The Babysitter by Emma Curtis BLOG TOUR #TheBabysitter @emmacurtisbooks @CorvusBooks @RandomTTours #BookReview


Three women. Three secrets.

Claudia's life imploded ten years ago when she was convicted of the murder of her child. Now she has done the unthinkable and confessed to manslaughter in order to be granted parole - her only hope of finding out what really happened to Tilly.

Sara is married to Joe, Claudia's ex-husband, and they have a young child together. She finally has everything she ever wanted, but Claudia's release threatens the perfect life she has created.

Anna was the babysitter who let Claudia and Joe down on day their daughter disappeared. Married with a child of her own, Claudia's reappearance in her quiet cul-de-sac is an unwelcome surprise.

These three women are tied together in more ways than they realize. But only one of them is capable of killing.

The Babysitter by Emma Curtis was published on 12 October 2023 by Corvus Books. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour 

Not only is The Babysitter a damn good thriller, with multiple voices; none of whom seem to be very trustworthy, it is also a delicate and intricate look at mental health, and how the deterioration of the mind can impact on how one is viewed. 

Ten year ago Claudia was sent to prison for the murder of her baby daughter Tilly. Tilly's body was never found and Claudia has always claimed that the little girl was snatched by an unknown woman pretending to be the expected agency babysitter.  Finally, Claudia has admitted that she was responsible, however, she's only done that to secure her release from prison. Once out, she intends to find out the truth, she will not rest until she does.

Meanwhile, Claudia's ex-husband Joe has married again. He and his new wife Sara have a baby daughter of their own. Still living nearby, and now married and a mother herself, is Anna, the girl who was originally booked to babysit Tilly on that dreadful night. Anna claimed to be ill that night, and that's why an agency sitter was booked. 

Claudia has clearly suffered with serious mental health issues for many years. Lots of people claimed that it was because she had stopped her medication that she had killed Tilly. After spending ten years behind bars, it is clear that Claudia still suffers with fragile mental health. Living in her mother's house, alone, and constantly abused and attacked by both the media and the neighbours, she appears frail and fraught.

This is a story that ties the reader in knots. I felt myself constantly doubting all of the characters, the three women and Joe himself all appear to contradict themselves on many occasions, and we, as readers have the luxury of knowing their innermost thoughts, and not just seeing their outer persona.

Throughout the story, my favoured suspect changed constantly, and this is the beauty of this book. Emma Curtis does a fine job of engaging her reader, yet keeping the pace and plot perfectly aligned. 

As various things are revealed, we begin to see the full story of what happened many years ago, and also of the various relationships within the novel, and it's a complex and cleverly woven tale of guilt, betrayal, lies and cover ups. 

It's not a short novel, but it's a very satisfying read. The characters are deliciously devilish at times, and also incredibly human. Recommended. 

Emma Curtis was born in Brighton and now lives in London with her husband. 

After raising two children and working various jobs, her fascination with the darker side of domestic life inspired her to start writing psychological suspense thrillers. 

She has published five previous titles with Transworld:  One Little Mistake, When I Find You, The Night You Left, Keep Her Quiet and Invite Me In. 

X / Twitter @emmacurtisbooks

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