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Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Review: Playing Nice by J.P. Delaney

Playing Nice 
by J.P. Delaney 

Thank you Ballantine Books and NetGalley for this copy.

Publisher: Ballantine
Publish Date: July 28, 2020
Kindle Edition
416 Pages
Genre: Psychological Thriller

A gripping new psychological thriller from the bestselling author of The Girl Before.

How far would you go to protect your family?

Pete Riley answers the door one morning and lets in a parent's worst nightmare. On his doorstep is Miles Lambert, a stranger who breaks the devastating news that Pete's son, Theo, isn't actually his son--he is the Lamberts', switched at birth by an understaffed hospital, while their real son was sent home with Miles and his wife Lucy. For Pete, his partner Maddie, and the little boy they've been raising for the past two years, life will never be the same again.

The two families, reeling from the shock, take comfort in shared good intentions, eagerly entwining their very different lives in the hope of becoming one unconventional modern family. But a plan to sue the hospital triggers an official investigation that unearths some disturbing questions about the night their children were switched. How much can they trust the other parents--or even each other? What secrets are hidden behind the Lamberts' glossy front door? Stretched to the breaking point, Pete and Maddie discover they will each stop at nothing to keep their family safe.

They are done playing nice.

My Review:

I just adore Delaney's writing style.  I was instantly hooked on this one and it touches on the subject matter of babies being switched in the hospital as babies.  Could you even imagine?!  Unfortunately there are all too true cases out there.  Delaney just happens to add that sinister, psychological thriller aspect to this story and PHEW!  I mean, what would you do if you found the child you've been raising isn't biologically yours?

This novel touches also on nature versus nurture - which is something I have truly always been fascinated by.  How much of a child's personality is structured from genetics ... or from any outside influence?  Do kids mimic their parents or is it something that is just deep down in their bones?   

The two couples in question are also drastically different from each other and have their own other issues that also come into play.  As with most thrillers - secrets abound and as they come to the surface - someone will always pay.  While I do think the final scene seemed a bit abrupt after all the build up of every step these families went through, I was actually satisfied with it - some bows are just meant to be tied.

This is my fourth Delaney book and they've been across the spectrum.  I do love an author where I walk in knowing I'll be entertained, but it's a toss up of just how much I'm going to love it.  I would highly recommend this and Believe Me by this author and I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for his next release.


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