Book Review: The Mistake by K.L Slater

About the Book

You think you know the truth about the people you love.

But one discovery can change everything…
Eight-year-old Billy goes missing one day, out flying his kite with his sister Rose. Two days later, he is found dead.

Sixteen years on, Rose still blames herself for Billy’s death. How could she have failed to protect her little brother?

Rose has never fully recovered from the trauma, and one of the few people she trusts is her neighbour Ronnie, who she has known all her life. But one day Ronnie falls ill, and Rose goes next door to help him… and what she finds in his attic room turns her world upside down.

Rose thought she knew the truth about what happened to Billy. She thought she knew her neighbour. Now the only thing she knows is that she is in danger…

The Mistake is a completely gripping thriller that will keep you up all night, from the top ten bestselling author of Blink, Liar and Safe with Me. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

My Thoughts

The Mistake had me glued to the book from start to finish. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it.

The story starts with eight year old Billy searching for his lost kite in the bushes. He hears a sound, turns and acknowledges a person he knows. That person grabs him. Days later, Billy’s body is found.

The narrative switches between the present day and 16 years earlier, in the time leading up to Billy’s disappearance and death. 

In addition to the mystery surrounding the death of Billy, this book gives us Rose’s story. A young, impressionable girl who suffers at the hands of a master in psychological mind-games, Rose finds herself with nowhere to turn because she placed her faith in the wrong person. For me, this was as much of a horror as the death of Billy. K.L Slater shows us how easy it would be to twist the mind of a vulnerable person. And because we don’t hear specific details of Billy’s death, it’s somewhat easier to stay removed. With Rose, however, we are there from the first time she is approached and groomed by a man whose aim is to control her in the name of love.

In the present day, Rose lives alone. Billy is gone, as are her parents. Her world is small. Her life is regimented by self-imposed rules that help her to cope with everyday life.

By chance, Rose discovers the person convicted of Billy’s murder may be innocent. Rose realises that any attempt to dig deeper may result in her entire world being up-ended and the precious little security she currently feels being removed altogether.

As Rose tentatively works towards finding out the truth, we learn more about Rose, her family, her friends and neighbours. Things are sometimes not what they seem. Who has lied? Who has concealed information? Why did others choose to remain quiet? What is Rose's role in all this?

Slater’s writing takes me directly to the scene. I can visualise Billy and Rose all the other characters. I can see the despair of living what seems like a dead-end life in a dying town. I can see the community and willingness to help a neighbour. And I can see business and the bottom line eroding a way of life.

When the murderer is finally revealed, I was very much surprised. Looking back, there are some clues. But like Rose and her youthful naivety, I got caught up in the lives of people that aren’t perfect and don’t always do the right thing. It was easy to cast blame elsewhere when there seemed to be sufficient evidence to prove so.

This is the first book I have read by K.L Slater. I will definitely be reading more.
Disclaimer: I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author

After years of trying to get published and never getting further than the slush pile, I went back to university at the age of 40 where I gained  a first-class honours degree in English & Creative Writing and an MA in Creative Writing with distinction.
Although I also worked full-time during the five years I studied at university, the courses gave me the time and space to try different writing and increased my confidence and belief in my writing. Before I graduated from my MA, I had secured representation with my agent, Clare Wallace, at the Darley Anderson Literacy, TV and Film Agency and had my first book deal.

My first adult psychological thriller for Bookouture is called ‘Safe with Me’ and it actually started life as my dissertation on my English & Creative Writing degree.

The creepy voice of Anna came to me strong and insistent . . . she wanted to be written, she wouldn’t go away. Please take a look at my ‘Books’ page for the full blurb.

I live in Nottingham with my husband, Mac. Between us we have three grown-up kids; my daughter, Francesca and Mac’s sons Nathan and Jake.
I also write multi-award winning YA fiction under the name Kim Slater.