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I Made A Mistake by Jane Corry

Updated: Jan 23, 2021

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Publisher: Penguin

Pub Date: 28th May 2020

Review Date: 16th May 2020



In Poppy Page's mind, there are two types of women in this world: those who are faithful to their husbands, and those who are not. Until now, Poppy has never questioned which she was.

But when handsome, charming Matthew Gordon walks back into her life after almost two decades, that changes. Poppy makes a single mistake - and that mistake will be far more dangerous than she could imagine.

Someone is going to pay for it with their life . . .

My Review

Bagging a coveted place on my all-time favourites shelf, I Made A Mistake by Jane Corry is an absolutely essential read for anybody who loves a twisty domestic thriller that's jam-packed with red herrings...

The novel has an anachronic structure that switches between the first-person narratives of Poppy and her mother-in-law, Betty. Poppy’s perspective is set in the present day, and Betty’s epistolary-style story is set in the past. The novel starts with the climatic event where a man is killed after falling from the platform of Waterloo Station, before flashing back six weeks to a party where Poppy bumps into her ex, Matthew. The novel then flashes forward to a court case connected to the man’s death, before the author’s skillful use of analepsis takes the reader back to the 1960, and to Betty’s story. Analepsis and prolepsis is then repeated through a series of shocking twists and turns until the two timelines merge, to reveal Jane Corry’s best plotline yet.

The dual narrative and dual timeline propels the story forward and makes for one utterly addictive page-turner. Just as one timeline reaches a cliff-hanger, the narrative switches to a different time and place which is equally as nail-biting as the previous one. Whilst the book’s blurb suggests Poppy is the protagonist, Betty’s story is equally, if not more-so compelling. Gender expectations within historical context, by nature draw a whole range of emotions from the modern-day reader. Betty’s story explores themes that are still relevant in society today, but viewing through a modern lens it is not just Jock’s treatment that is shocking, it is also society’s expectations of women, including Betty’s own expectation of herself, that will have readers screaming in frustration at the injustice she faces.

Once again, not only does Jane Corry provide a masterclass in narrative structure but also in character creation. There are some particularly nasty characters in this story, and some extremely likeable ones too, which links to another main theme that delves into how things aren’t always what they appear to be on the surface. Matthew makes Poppy feel wanted, sexy, and alive. Stuart makes her feel unwanted, frumpy, and their life together is mundane. But which man truly loves her? Which one would go to any lengths to protect her?

Jane Corry has been on my favourite author list for some time now but I Made A Mistake is her absolute finest yet. This rollercoaster of a read is littered with twist after twist and the final twist is as equally satisfying as it is shocking, a twist that I wasn’t expecting at all! Absolutely brilliant, what an utterly excellent read…

I would recommend this book for fans of Lisa Jewell, C L Taylor, or Emily Koch.

About the Author

Jane Corry is a writer and journalist (Daily Telegraph and women's magazines) who worked for three years as the writer in residence of a high security prison for men. This experience helped inspire her Sunday Times bestsellers 'My Husband's Wife', 'Blood Sisters' and 'The Dead Ex'. She also writes short stories as well as a weekly digital column about being a granny for My Weekly. Jane speaks at literary festivals all over the world. Many of her ideas strike during morning dog-jogs along the beach followed by a dip in the sea - no matter how cold it is!

Thank you to the author for an Advance Review Copy of this book.

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