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The Good Mother

Rae Cairns



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Harper Collins
01 April 2022
'Past and present collide on and off the page in this explosive debut' Sunday Telegraph

'This story wouldn't let me go' Michael Robotham

Shortlisted for the 2021 Ned Kelly Award for Best Debut Crime Fiction

She's protected them from the truth. Can she save them from her past?

Sarah Calhoun is a regular Sydney soccer mum, but she's keeping terrifying secrets from everyone she loves . . . and her past is about to catch up with her.

When two men from Northern Ireland hunt her down, she's forced to return to Belfast to testify at a murder trial. Caught in the crossfire of an obsessive policeman driven by a disturbing past, and a brutal IRA executioner, Sarah faces an impossible choice: lie and allow a killer to walk free, or tell the truth and place her children in the line of fire.

With her family and innocent people at risk, Sarah must find the courage to fight for the truth. But righting the wrongs of the past just might cost her everything . . .

This fast-paced, explosive thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat to its gripping finale.

'Show me a soldier who would fight harder than a mother to save her son.'


'Fierce, action-packed ... A wild, original ride from start to finish' Sarah Bailey

'This taut, propulsive debut celebrates female strength and speaks to the extraordinary courage and resilience of mothers everywhere ... Brilliant' Anna Downes

'This page-turning thriller packs a powerful punch. A rock-solid five-star read' Sara Foster

'Fans of Dervla McTiernan will love this rollercoaster ride of a crime novel where a violent past returns to threaten an uneasy peace. I inhaled it.' Aoife Clifford

'Surprising, moving and utterly heart-stopping. A stunning, thought-provoking debut' Kathryn Heyman

'A gripping page-turner. I was hooked from the first page until the final twist' Tim Ayliffe

'Cleverly wrought and beautifully written, the characters will get under your skin, the plot will drive you deep into the night, and the fear will follow you home.' Loraine Peck

 The Good Mother

Imprint:   Harper Collins
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 236mm,  Width: 155mm,  Spine: 29mm
Weight:   444g
ISBN:   9781460761939
ISBN 10:   1460761936
Pages:   368
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Rae Cairns writes crime with heart: thrillers and suspense featuring everyday people facing extraordinary circumstances. Her debut novel The Good Mother draws on her background as a youth worker mentoring disadvantaged youth, many of them children of the paramilitaries, in Northern Ireland during the final years of 'The Troubles'. Rae has also co-managed a crisis refuge for street children, worked as Program Director for the Sydney Olympic Youth Camp and holds a degree in Performing Arts. She is currently busy writing her second novel, to be published in 2023. When she's not playing around with the lives of her imaginary characters she loves to read, hike, travel and sing. Rae lives in Sydney with her husband, two children and her dog, Alfie, who snores at her feet when she writes.

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