by Louise Millar
Sound designer Callie Roberts is a single mother. And she’s come to rely heavily on her best friend and neighbour Suzy. Over the past few lonely years, Suzy has been good to Callie and her rather frail daughter Rae, and she’s welcomed them into her large, apparently happy family.
But Callie knows that Suzy’s life is not quite as perfect as it seems. It’s time she pulled away – and she needs to get back to work. So why does she keep putting off telling Suzy? And who will care for Rae? In the anonymous city street the houses each hide a very different family, each with their own secrets. Callie’s increased sense of alienation leads her to try to befriend a new resident, Debs. But she’s odd – you certainly woudn’t trust her with your child – especially if you know anything about her past.
"Among the many psychological thriller debuts, this one stands out. I started reading and couldn’t stop. It’s tautly written, with lashings of atmosphere and menace – a must-read that will tap into every mother’s primal fears."
"Millar is a genius at capturing the complicated emotions of parenthood, and her taut, suspenseful plot makes this an unputdownable read."
"What starts as as quiet story about neighbors, soon builds into a gripping, psychological thriller."
Publishers Weekly (Starred review)
"A writer to watch."
Booklist (starred review)
"This compelling and impressive debut is told from the point of view of all three women, and the reader's sympathy shifts constantly as the story becomes more creepy and unesettling when layers of intrigue and manipulation are slowly revealed."
"A disturbing psychological thriller that probes the insular lives of social misfits in a London suburb"
– New York Times
"Perceptive and well-written, The Playdate is utterly compelling and a sure-fire winner"
"Like the best thrillers, it is quietly creepy and expertly crafted. Add it to your book club reading list now"
"A well-paced psychological thriller with more than a hint of Minette Walters about it"
"The Playdate is an amazingly accomplished work for a first-time author and I can't wait to read Louise Millar"s next book"
"Clever and scary, Millar plays with the darkness beneath apparently normal lives"
"Cleverly and meticulously, Millar doles out information – so readers belatedly piece together the truth. The Playdate succeeds on every level, making Millar a new writer to watch"
The Cleveland Plain Dealer