I read (and enjoyed) Elle Croft’s The Guilty Wife (in early 2018) and actually have her 2019 novel The Other Sister sitting in my to-be-read pile… something I hadn’t realised before picking up her latest release.
Like Mother, Like Daughter
by Elle Croft
Published by Orion
Source: Hachette Australia
Genres: Thriller / Suspense
ISBN: B0819KR7G8, 9781409187226
Kat's children are both smart and well-adjusted. On the outside.
Kat has always tried to treat Imogen and Jemima equally, but she struggles with one of her daughters more than the other.
Because Imogen's birth mother is a serial killer. And Imogen doesn't know.
It has to be said that Kat starts off as a thoroughly unsympathetic character. She’s distrustful of 16yr old Imogen (who they adopted almost 15yrs earlier) when she has no reason to be… all because of who her mother was. Her suspicion is palpable and I cannot imagine how Imogen lived with it for so long without being more troubled!
I felt like a self-fulfilling prophecy was inevitable—Kat treating Imogen like she had done / was about to do something wrong— and Imogen acting out in defiance. I mean, the way Kat speaks about her and compares her two daughters is really quite horrid. (And yes, in case you can’t tell… I was affronted on Imogen’s behalf. So the characters obviously felt very real.)
Thankfully Imogen’s father Dylan is far more balanced though I would have liked him to pick his wife up on her behaviour a bit more.
The book opens after an incident involving Imogen which seems to be a one-off. Hence my annoyance at Kat’s reaction. Things escalate quickly though and Imogen disappears after learning the couple she’s assumed to be her parents, aren’t. And of course, we’re left to wonder how and why she suddenly decided to question that.
We also meet Sally, Imogen’s mother. A smug serial killer sitting in jail and relishing in her notoriety. (Yes really!)
Croft takes us back in time however and we’re given some insight into Sally’s history. It gives us an opportunity to understand why she’s done what she’s done and ‘how’ she came to be.
Croft also flashes back to Kat and Dylan’s past and we learn how Imogen came to be with their family.
And of course, there’s an interesting twist which makes us wonder what will come next. (And of course we’ll never know.)
I enjoyed this though probably would have liked Croft to dig a little deeper into Sally’s legacy—because in some ways—it left me wanting more. I wondered, for example, what became of Sally’s eldest (living) child as it seemed an obvious gap in the unfolding story. Of course that’s probably just me needing EVERYTHING answered (given my need for closure!).
Like Mother Like Daughter by Elle Croft was published in Australia by Hachette and is now available.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.