Desert Isle Keeper
Her One Mistake
There are dozens of novels of psychological suspense that center around a missing child, but few have managed to surprise and delight me the way Heidi Perks’ Her One Mistake did. It’s a deftly plotted mystery with relatable characters and a surprise ending, making it something I’m very pleased to recommend to fans of the genre.
It was a day not all that different from any other for Charlotte and her three children. They had plans to attend a fair being held at one of the local schools, and everyone was excited to have a day out. The only thing that set this particular day apart from the many others like it was the addition of four-year-old Alice, the only child of Charlotte’s best friend Harriet. Alice and Harriet have literally never been separated, as Harriet is an extremely overprotective mother, but she asks Charlotte to look after Alice for a few hours so she can attend an accounting class, and Charlotte agrees.
Keeping track of four active children at a busy fair is no easy feat, but Charlotte is managing pretty well until she happens to look away from them for a split second, and that’s all the time it takes for tragedy to strike. Alice is nowhere to be found, and Charlotte is frantic. After searching everywhere she can think of, Charlotte calls the police, setting in motion an investigation that will forever change the lives of those involved.
When Harriet learns of her daughter’s disappearance, she is overcome with anger and fear. Charlotte is the last person she wants to see or speak to, since it was her carelessness that resulted in this terrible tragedy. But as days pass with no sign of the missing child, it begins to seem that her only hope of being reunited with Alice is likely to lie with Charlotte.
What follows is one of the twistiest novels I’ve had the pleasure of reading in quite a while. I thought for sure I had things all figured out, but none of my theories turned out to be true. Ms. Perks does a stellar job throwing in all manner of red herrings, none of which seemed over the top.
Public opinion plays a huge part in this story, and it’s honestly one of the most compelling aspects of the plot. Charlotte is treated horribly by friends, acquaintances, and even perfect strangers. Everyone has their own opinion of what she could have done to prevent the calamity, and no one is the least bit hesitant to voice their thoughts. It’s something that feels quite relevant to our times, and I’m glad the author incorporated it into the story.
There are some pretty graphic depictions of domestic violence here that could prove problematic for some readers. Ms. Perks handles the subject with a great deal of sensitivity, but some of the descriptions were extremely difficult to read, and I wanted people to be aware of this fact before picking this one up.
I can’t tell you much else about Her One Mistake without entering spoiler territory, so I’ll just urge you to give this fantastic thriller a try as soon as you can. It’s a book that’s sure to keep you guessing until the very end, and I’m pretty sure it’s a story you won’t soon forget.