Daly’s sophomore effort tackles the difficult subjects of adultery and betrayal.
Natty multitasks, and that’s a problem. She’s the successful owner of an ultrahigh-end hotel in England, sharing duties with her handsome husband, Sean. The couple has two daughters and lives that are so busy they’re hardly in the same room at the same time—and they rarely have time for sex. When their youngest daughter, Felicity, suffers a ruptured appendix while on a school trip to France, Natty rushes to her side, leaving a visitor, her recently arrived college buddy, Eve, a psychologist on the lecture circuit, to take care of Sean and their other daughter, Alice. And take care of them she does. Eve launches into an immediate campaign to seduce Sean, and by the time Natty returns with Felicity, Sean is no longer hers. Hurt and angry, Natty embarks on a campaign to get her family back and soon finds that everything she thought she knew was an illusion. In the meantime, a confrontation between Natty and Eve brings back police detective Joanne Aspinall, who first surfaced in Daly’s debut novel (Just What Kind of Mother Are You?, 2013). Telling the tale in alternating voices—first person for Natty and third person for Joanne—Daly takes multiple moving parts and weaves them into a cohesive whole. There’s little mystery since the reader knows from the outset that Eve is cold and conniving, not caring whom she hurts; yet the author still manages to hold the reader’s attention. Daly has grown considerably since her somewhat clumsy debut, but this time, she turns in a not-quite-perfect piece of fiction that still wins with its immensely likable heroine and her dastardly feminine foil.
Although the idea that a happy marriage would dissolve in two weeks' time strikes a false note, Daly’s second outing proves absorbing.