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The Mistake I Made by Sam Hepburn

Updated: Aug 17, 2023


All I ever wanted was to help him. But now I think I have made a terrible mistake…

Looking up at those dark brown eyes, I know in that moment that I finally have a chance to make a difference to someone. I’ve been hurt before, but this time won’t be the same.

When my husband left me at the worst moment of my life, I could have decided not to trust anyone again. But I am determined not to let it change me.

Everyone tells me that I am making the same mistakes all over again, trusting the wrong person.

He has secrets, but who doesn’t? I have things in my past I would much rather stay buried.

But then he dies suddenly, and my whole world is turned upside down. I know he was killed, but the question is, by who?

My shop is broken into, people close to me are lying to me, and I am being followed home. The police won’t believe me. My family think I’m mad. But I know the truth.

But will proving I’m right be the worst mistake I’ve ever made?

This addictive and gripping psychological thriller is perfect for fans of Mark Edwards, Megan Miranda and Laura Marshall.

My Thoughts

Vanessa is a wealthy entrepreneur who recently went through a terrible divorce. She decides to undertake volunteer work and works at a hospice and a halfway house for guys who are out of employment and living on the streets.

She becomes a confidante for a woman in hospice and vows to help the woman find her kid, who was given up for adoption.

Her sister arrives on the scene just as everything appears to be going well. There were many moments in the second part of this novel that had my head whirling around, and I went back to make sure I wasn't missing anything! Wow, what a twist! In the end, there is no hint of the twist.

The plot is fantastic and the writing is brilliant. I never would have predicted the outcome. To avoid giving anything away, I won't say too much, but this is exactly what a psychological thriller should be.

Many thanks to @Netgalley & @bookouture for the opportunity to review it.


Sam Hepburn studied modern languages at Clare College, University of Cambridge. She worked briefly in advertising, running the Lifebuoy soap account - disastrously - before joining the BBC. She spent 25 years making documentaries, including Warlords and Widows, The Bronte's and Alice Walker and The Colour Purple, for which she was nominated for a BAFTA.

Her first Middle Grade novel, Quicksilver, was published by Scholastic in 2010, to be followed by two YA thrillers, Chasing the Dark and If You Were Me. She has been long-listed for the Carnegie medal for children's literature, and the Branford Boase prize for debut fiction. In 2017, her first psychological thriller Her Perfect Life, was published by Harper Collins.

Bookouture has published two further psychological thrillers, Gone Before and A Good Mother. The Mistake I Made is published in August 2023.

Sam has lived and worked in the Sudan - where her father was born - the Lebanon, USA and Kenya. She is a trustee of I Afrika, a charity that rescues, educates and home street kids in Kenya. She sits as a magistrate in London.

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