"Mother Knows Best"
Written by Kira Peikoff
Review written by Diana Iozzia
"Mother Knows Best" is a gripping and tense new thriller by an author new to me. This book falls into the psychological thriller category but also incorporates a small aspect of science fiction, allowing it to feel a bit confused during some plot points. In this, we follow a few different main characters, some of whose identities may spoil most of the plot. For the most part, we meet Claire, her husband, and their daughter, Abigail. Abigail was genetically modified as an embryo to include genetic and DNA material from three parents, one being a lead scientist. Abigail was 'created' illegally, because her mother, Claire, was concerned that she would become sick with the same hereditary condition that killed her first son. This causes a crazy whirlwind for the media and for the lives involved.
Years later, the scientist, Jillian emerges to find the daughter she contributed her DNA too, making her the second mother of Abigail, in addition to Claire. This sets off an intense plot, with a large amount of mystery, fear, and panic. As far as psychological thrillers go, the execution of the plot was very similar to others', but I enjoyed the unique set-up that caused the want for revenge. There are various drastic plot reveals and twists, that allow characters to be seen completely differently. In addition, certain characters are not who we think they are, which allows for a fun and entertaining shift in the narrative. I understand that some readers might find this to be unnecessary, but I enjoyed it and was unable to predict one of the main twists.
This story incorporates many unlikable and unreliable characters, which causes the book to drag a bit. I felt that some scenes felt a bit too long and some dialogue could have been taken out. Naturally, I cannot reveal much of the plot or the twists, due to spoilers.
In conclusion, I enjoyed this book. I did not love it, nor will I plan to re-read it. I would like to read the author's future books. I do not think this is the next biggest thriller, and I believe that this would not be created well on-screen in either a film or miniseries. I recommend this book, as an introduction into the genre, because it hits on many of the common tropes and plot devices that appear in nearly every thriller. However, from a new author's perspective, I appreciated this book.
I received an advance review copy of this book to read and review.