Only A Mother by Elisabeth Carpenter
Review Copy

Erica Wright hasn’t needed to scrub ‘MURDERER’ off her house in over a year. Life is almost quiet again. Then her son, Craig, is released from prison, and she knows the quiet is going to be broken.
Erica has always believed Craig was innocent – despite the lies she told for him years ago – but when he arrives home, she notices the changes in him. She doesn’t recognise her son anymore.
So, when another girl goes missing, she starts to question everything. But how can a mother turn her back on her son? And, if she won’t, then how far will she go to protect him?

My Review:

‘Murderer; get out; scum’

The title opens with mum Erica Wright dealing with the aftermath of her sons convictions. Between the graffiti and excrement at her door, her life has spiralled out of control. She now lives her life dedicated to proving her son Craig’s innocence.
But is he really so innocent…

‘What I do know, is that my son would never harm anyone’

The novel is told from the point of view of not only Erica,  but local Chronicle journalist Luke whom believes Craig will instantly re-offend. And the killer, whom we can’t be too sure is/isn’t the narration of Craig himself. The differing viewpoints keeps you on your toes and guessing at every turn.

‘I don’t have the power to protect him…’

After Craig is released from serving 17yrs in prion, for a crime his mother is convinced he didn’t commit. Their lives become increasingly difficult my local media interest and local resident’s dislike of having a criminal on their streets.
However, Luke is determined to find a link between Craig’s crime and an unsolved murder. Luke believes Craig is a sociopath and his mother is merely unable to see her son for who he truly is. Is Craig a crazed killer? or the wrongly convicted as his mother continues to claim?

‘Murderer to return to Preston’ 

Erica’s past is slowly revealed and her friendships and relationships laid bare. As much as it is easy to criticise Erica’s beliefs, I did genuinely feel sorry for her. It must take incredible courage to stand by your child, after such a heinous crime. However, she is rather naïve and this adds to the pity you begin to feel. This really is a story of the strength of motherhood bonds and how blinded a mother maybe.

The only person Craig has to turn to, upon release is childhood friend Jason. Whilst Erica is part of an online community that supports families of convicted criminals. As Erica clings to her sanity, whilst seeing images of Lucy everywhere she goes. Luke is working hard to dig into the previous unsolved rape and murder of Jenna Threlfall.
Then Erica uncovers a bunch of prison love letters, from a teen named Leanne. . .

‘It’s not normal to be afraid of your own son’

This is a modern psychological thriller that plays on a mothers worst fears. Dealing with themes of friendship and betrayal, with a killer ending.
The question remains… How far are you willing to go as a mother? 4*  

elisabeth carpenter
Elisabeth Carpenter

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