Claire Abram’s saw her worst nightmare come true when she learned that she had passed along a genetic mutation to her son. Colton was able to fight the disease for a few years, but eventually lost his battle. Claire wants nothing more than to be a mother again, but the risk of endangering another child is too high. Things change the day she learns of Robert Nash, a fertility doctor working in secret with scientist, Jillian Hendricks to develop a way to eliminate the part of the mother’s genetic material that passes long this inherited disease.
Claire, Robert, and Jillian join forces to create the world’s first baby with three genetic parents. Word gets out about their illegal experiment and Claire is forced into hiding. Now pregnant, Claire must rely on Robert for everything as they both risk the future to bring baby Abby into the world. Meanwhile, Jillian stands alone to face the charges of their crime. After ten years, Jillian has finally planned her revenge on Claire and Robert. Past and present will collide and she hunts for those who did her wrong.
MOTHER KNOWS BEST is a fantastic psychological thriller that hones in on a unique premise. There are plenty of books in the crime fiction genre that choose to focus around family interactions, but Claire’s situation starts off as a moral dilemma. Would you choose to bring a second child into the world if you knew that the potential for them to inherit a life-threatening disease was massive? If you heard that there was a way to eliminate this issue, but it crossed an ethical boundary, would you give it a try? By placing the reader into Claire’s mind from the first few pages, Peikoff forms a strong bond between one of the main characters and the reader. This bond drives the reader to binge read sections of this book anticipating what might happen next.
Peikoff smartly uses alternating narratives between Claire, Jillian, and Abby. The narratives for Claire and Jillian span both past and present, while Abby’s sections are devoted to showing the impact of the actions of these women. Each viewpoint is strong and dripping with passion as the three characters navigate the story and work towards the ultimate breaking point. The chapters are short and action-packed with a high potential to end on a cliffhanger, which propels the reader to continue reading.
This book seems to have readers divided on whether or not they love the book. I think for many the need to suspend reality and embrace the medical scenario surrounding this story won’t work for every reader. You have to walk into this book with an open mind and be willing to buy into the plot. There’s also a predictability factor to this book, which could deter readers from falling in love. Did I find some parts predictable? Yes, but I thought Peikoff did a great job of navigating a well-traveled storyline. There are only so many directions to take a psychological thriller of this nature and what you need to succeed is good writing, which is exactly what Peikoff provides. Everything was smooth, captivating, and intriguing. At the end of the day I fully enjoyed binge reading this book!
Disclosure: A huge thank you to Crooked Lane Books for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.