I’m really delighted today to be joining the blog blitz for The Babysitter by Sheryl Browne, and sharing my review: regular readers will know what a fan I am of her writing (and the lovely lady herself), and her latest was published by Bookouture on 8th March, available for kindle and in paperback. “A gripping psychological thriller with edge of your seat suspense” may not be my usual kind of reading, but I’m always happy to step outside my comfort zone for a new book from Sheryl. Just take a look at this…
You trust her with your family. Would you trust her with your life?
Mark and Melissa Cain are thrilled to have found Jade, a babysitter who is brilliant with their young children. Having seen her own house burn to the ground, Jade needs them as much as they need her. Moving Jade into the family home can only be a good thing, can’t it?
As Mark works long hours as a police officer and Melissa struggles with running a business, the family become ever more reliant on their babysitter, who is only too happy to help. And as Melissa begins to slip into depression, it’s Jade who is left picking up the pieces.
But Mark soon notices things aren’t quite as they seem. Things at home feel wrong, and as Mark begins to investigate their seemingly perfect sitter, what he discovers shocks him to his core. He’s met Jade before. And now he suspects he might know what she wants …
Mark is in a race against time to protect his family. But what will he find as he goes back to his family home?
If you loved reading The Girl on the Train, Behind Closed Doors and The Sister, you’ll love the suspense of The Babysitter. This unputdownable read will have you turning the pages until way after dark.
Whenever I read a thriller from Sheryl Browne, it severely disturbs my sleep patterns – in fact, I blame her entirely for the black circles under my eyes today. “Unputdownable” is a much overused word, but it just has to be used for this one – oh my goodness.
One of the author’s greatest strengths is her ability to create strong and believable characters, to draw you into their world (kicking and screaming, in this case), and then to place you right in the centre of the action, feeling everything that they do. And it’s never a particularly pleasant place to be, but she does it so very well. After the really striking and disturbing prologue, I particularly liked the way she told this story – three viewpoints with Mark, his wife Melissa, and babysitter-from-hell Jade. For the reader, it’s just fascinating to be party to Jade’s nasty and twisted thinking – it’s so cleverly done, keeping you one step ahead of everyone else in the story, and makes every twist and turn even more shocking.
The issues of loss, depression and mental illness are so well handled, sensitively but with a feel of absolute authenticity – I cared so much about Mark and Melissa that it really hurt, aghast at the way they were being manipulated. The writing, as always, is quite superb – smoothly readable, emotions perfectly represented to the extent that you feel them too, every exchange wonderfully done. This was a really disturbing but absolutely compelling read – a little different, and unreservedly recommended to all thriller fans (just don’t start reading before bed, like I did…!).
About the author
Sheryl Browne brings you powerful psychological thrillers and contemporary fiction. SheryI’s latest psychological thriller The Babysitter – the first of a three-book deal – comes to you from fabulous Bookouture. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association and the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and previously writing for award winning Choc Lit, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.
So why does Sheryl write in two genres? Quoting E. L. Doctorow, Sheryl says: “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights…” This she thinks sums up a writer’s journey, you never quite know where you are going until you get there. You might start with an outline, but a strong character will always divert from the plot. If Sheryl’s not sure where a character is going, she simply has to trust him to show her the way. Plus, according to one reviewer, she also has a scary insight into the mind of a psychopath.