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The Mistake I Made

The Mistake I Made

4.3 6
by Paula Daly

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In this provocative and riveting thriller, Paula Daly focuses her masterful eye for psychological suspense and family drama on a clandestine affair that has fatal repercussions.

Single mother Roz has reached breaking-point. After the dissolution of her marriage, her business has gone under, debts are racking up, the rent is late again, and she's struggling to


In this provocative and riveting thriller, Paula Daly focuses her masterful eye for psychological suspense and family drama on a clandestine affair that has fatal repercussions.

Single mother Roz has reached breaking-point. After the dissolution of her marriage, her business has gone under, debts are racking up, the rent is late again, and she's struggling to provide for her nine-year-old son, who is starting to misbehave in school. When she returns home from work one day to find an eviction notice, she has two weeks to come up with a solution before they're kicked out. Roz is in trouble, real trouble, and she doesn't know where to turn. Then an unusual opportunity presents itself.

At her sister's birthday party, Roz meets Scott Elias—wealthy, powerful, and very married—and she leaves an indelible impression on him. So much so that he tracks her down and makes her an offer: to spend the night with him . . . for money. He wants no-strings-attached intimacy and can guarantee total discretion. With that kind of cash, Roz could clear her debts and get her life back on track. But how much is Roz willing to compromise in order to keep her family safe? As the seemingly straightforward arrangement grows ever complicated, Scott becomes obsessive and dangerously controlling, and Roz is forced to do things she never thought herself capable of in order to safeguard her life.

The latest page-turner from one of England's most captivating thriller writers, The Mistake I Made takes a gripping turn into a world of sex, blackmail, and murder within a tightly-knit community that is more familiar with solitude than scandal.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
You’d think that with single mom Roz Toovey’s furniture already repossessed, her anxious nine-year-old son stealing money at school, and eviction looming, her situation couldn’t get much worse—but it decidedly does in this disappointing downer from CWA Gold Dagger Award–finalist Daly (Keep Your Friends Close). Despite her labors as a physiotherapist in England’s Lake District, Roz can’t see a way out from under the ever-compounding debt racked up by her feckless estranged husband. That is, until wealthy married patient Scott Elias makes her a tantalizingly lucrative and indecent proposal. Things start to get really complicated when, first, Roz’s boss, Wayne, stumbles into the arrangement; she then meets an eligible man she likes—who happens to be Scott’s brother-in-law. Though the plot starts to pick up speed about halfway through, which is around the time Wayne goes missing, by then there’s been enough of Roz’s largely dreary daily life that some readers may decide not to proceed further. Agent: Jane Gregory, Gregory & Company (U.K.). (Sept.)
From the Publisher

Praise for The Mistake I Made:

"[Daly] has a real gift for mixing insightful writing on domestic life with a suspenseful premise. Her entertaining asides on relationships, as well as interesting information on physical therapy and spot-on depictions of workplace dynamics, are as engrossing as her intriguing plot. This is sure to delight her growing fan base." —Booklist

"Daly heats things up . . . hypnotic." —Kirkus Reviews

Library Journal
Single mom Roz's business has folded, and she's facing eviction when she meets wealthy, securely married Scott Elias, who will pay her a big chunk of money for a no-consequences one-night stand. It's a devil's bargain. After British author Daly's nerve-rattling debut, Just What Kind of Mother Are You?, and its follow-up, Keep Your Friends Close.
Kirkus Reviews
A woman strikes a deal with a very rich lover and lives to regret it. Roz Toovey, a divorced physiotherapist, stands on the verge of losing everything she has. She's deep in debt and has no idea where she'll get the money to pay her bills. When bailiffs show up and take everything from her place but the kitchen sink, Roz and her little boy, George, contemplate a bleak future. Enter the wealthy Scott Elias. A friend of Roz's sister and brother-in-law, Scott has a picture-perfect marriage to Nadine. The golden couple jet-set around and hold expensive parties, but Scott doesn't care about all that. He wants Roz, and he's willing to pay for the experience. Scott offers Roz a ridiculous amount of money to have sex with him—no strings attached—and Roz, desperate to keep a roof over her head, takes him up on it. But there's a catch: Wayne, Roz's boss at the clinic where she works, has found some money missing, and, having figured out her arrangement with Scott, he wants part of the action or he'll pin the theft on her. Roz meets him at his place and agrees to a one-time sexual encounter, but things go awry, and when she gets to work on Monday, Wayne is missing. Then Roz is left to figure out how much the police know about her, as well as deal with Scott's increasing demands. Daly's stories are always compelling but rarely plausible, and this one's no exception. This time she includes too much detail about physiotherapy (providing, for example, a detailed explanation of sciatica, even though the condition is immaterial to the story) and creates a highly flawed and morally compromised protagonist, making it difficult to empathize with her. Although it takes too long to get the narrative ball rolling, Daly heats things up fast from there. A slow start, hypnotic storyline, and overly neat ending make this not one of Daly's best.

Product Details

Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
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Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

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Meet the Author

Paula Daly is the author of Just What Kind of Mother Are You? and Keep Your Friends Close. She lives in North West England with her husband, three children, and their dog Skippy. The Mistake I Made is her third novel.

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The Mistake I Made 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book! Compelling story and the characters came alive for me. I recommend this book and intend to check out more of this author's books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was an easy read, it started slow, yet towards the middle, I found myself rushing home to get an hour of reading in while the kids completed homework and their enrichment reading. I hope that Paula Daly writes a sequel to "The Mistake I made", as I'm anxious to know what exactly happened to Scott Elias and the love affair of Roz and Mr, Henry Peachy,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Found this one hard to put down!
Anonymous 13 days ago
Well, I can't believe I read all three books without a break! I bore pretty easily and usually keep 2 or 3 books going at a time....I think this lady writes really entertainingly.
AvidReaderREE More than 1 year ago
I received an advanced copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review. This book caused a lot of various emotions but it was stunning and really exciting to read. In this novel we are following Roz's story of reaching her financial wits end. Her ex never pays child support, she lost her business and when the ex left he also left her with a lot of debt. Roz is about to lose her house for her and her son AFTER almost all the items in the house have already been repossessed and then she is presented with an odd proposition, but one she may not be able to refuse. A man she barely knows wants to begin an affair but she turns him down, then he comes back a few days later with a business proposition, he will pay her to spend a night with him. At this point she's desperate for the finances and begins down this path that leads to so many insane twists and turns that even I was surprised by some of them! A very good intriguing book that I did enjoy and I will be picking up another of Paula Day's novels since I enjoyed this one so much!
CharlotteLynnsReviews More than 1 year ago
Everyone has had that time that they wish they had more money, whether to pay a bill, buy a present, or just as a cushion. Roz is desperate. They have reposed everything they can, the landlord is evicting her, and there is no funds available anywhere for her to save herself and her son, George. Then Scott comes into her life. Everything changes. The struggles Roz has are real, especially for a single mother. The love she has for her son and all the things she wants for him are what any good parent would want for their family. I felt sorry for Roz. She was at her breaking point. To save her family and keep a roof over her head she has to consider an indecent proposal. While this is a thriller, there is so much humor. The interactions of Roz with her patients, Roz’s sisters reaction to her friends and their wealth; there was just so much that had touches of humor in them. There were also serious scenes. Between both the humor and the seriousness, this book was real. It happens. People are in positions where they consider what can be done to just stay safe. Paula Daly wrote the perfect book. This is my first Paula Daly book (yes, I must live under a rock) but certainly not my last. Check out this book, you won’t be sorry