The Mother Next Door by Leah Mercer

The Mother Next Door

Posted on March 6, 2023 by Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading in Reviews / 7 Comments

One of my reading goals for 2023 was to read more thrillers/mysteries. Therefore, picking up The Mother Next Door was a no brainer. With its compelling, suspenseful and fast-paced storyline, The Mother Next Door delivered a thrilling ride from start to finish. 


The Mother Next Door by Leah MercerTitle: The Mother Next Door
Author(s): Leah Mercer
Published by Bookouture on February 27, 2023
Pages: 255
Genre(s): Psychological Thriller
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Format: eArc
Purchase: Amazon|Audible
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

I glance over at Lou’s house as I pull onto my drive, surprised that it is still in darkness. Lou and the kids should have been home from school long ago. I should be preparing a delicious meal for my children as they tell me about their day. But Lou’s car is nowhere to be seen…
The night is drawing in and Lou has still not returned. I try not to panic, but deep down I know something is wrong. Lou is the most dependable friend. Our children are at the same school. We always help each other out, and she cares for my two like only a mother can.
As a storm rages outside and local news reports tell everyone to stay indoors, a feeling of deep dread starts to swell. Then the call comes. The police have found Lou’s car, with my children’s schoolbags still inside along with Lou’s phone. But they are nowhere to be seen.
Clutching my husband’s hands, willing our children to be found safe and sound, I try to silence the voice inside my head. I’ve not been honest. I’m being punished for what happened all those years ago.
And then I get Lou’s message and I know that if I want to see my children again, I need to tell the truth to everyone I love.
What I don’t yet know is that Lou has been keeping her own dark secret. And once the storm passes, nothing will ever be the same again.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.


The Mother Next Door introduces Fiona, Allison, Jasmine and Lou. Fiona, Allison and Jasmine may dislike each other, but they have several things in common. Their children attend the same school, they are friends with Lou and they are trying to bury the guilty feelings of a shared secret from their past. All three women trusted Lou with their lives. Therefore, they have no qualms in allowing her to pick up their children from school. However, on one fateful day with a storm brewing, Lou failed to bring the children home, placing Fiona, Jasmine and Lou in a state of panic.

While wondering where Lou could be with their children, they each received a text message for Lou. A message which sends chills down their spine and will require them to revisit a past they would rather forget. However, their children’s lives are at risk, forcing them to dig up a secret which they thought would remain buried. Will they be willing to face their fears and confess, or will they risk the lives of their children to keep their secret buried?


Told from multiple POVs, The Mother Next Door will have one flipping the pages as one tries to decipher how the events would unfold. The story provides readers with Fiona, Allison and Jasmine’s POVs along with that of Tabitha, one of the children being held captive. At the beginning of the story I sympathized with the women, after all it must be scary not knowing what happened to their children. However, with the progression of each event, my feelings towards them changed. Their actions reeked of selfishness and cowardice, rendering them unlikeable. I had difficulty dredging up an ounce of compassion for them.

The delivery of the story between the past and the present helps readers to understand the nature of the secret and the ultimate reason for the kidnapping. The big question, though, is what does this secret have to do with Lou? 

Tabitha’s POV opened the reader’s eyes to the dangers the children faced.  One could not help worrying about their safety. Health issues, a raging storm and an unstable kidnapper adding to the intensity of the story. It sure kept me on the edge of my seat. The story also delivered some interesting and shocking turn of events leading up to a satisfying end.

Fans of domestic and psychological thrillers should consider adding The Mother Next Door to their TBR. This was my first Leah Mercer read and it will not be my last.


Story Evaluation
World Building
Writing Style
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star


About Leah Mercer

Leah Mercer was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the east coast of Canada. Her first ambition was to be a journalist, but after completing a Master’s in Journalism, she soon realised she preferred anything other than reporting the news. After trying her hand at public relations, teaching and recruitment in various countries around the world, she finally settled in London and returned to writing…fiction, this time. Her first two novels, Who We Were Before and The Man I Thought You Were, were shortlisted at the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association Awards. Leah loves books, running and visiting historic houses with her husband and their son.


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