Single Mother by Samantha Hayes

Published: January 5, 2021
Mystery & Thrillers

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Samantha Hayes left school at 16, avoided university instead opting to work various jobs. She spent time living in Australia and the US before she became a crime writer. She has written over ten novels, and she isn’t slowing down. Known for her suspenseful build-ups and bold characters, Samantha Hayes creates stories that are impossible to put down.


This is my second Samantha Hayes book; I read The Happy Couple earlier this year. I appreciate Samantha Hayes’s writing style and her world-building. She writes intricate plots filled with twists and turns you don’t see coming.

Mel hasn’t had an easy life. She was abandoned as a baby, in a luggage rack on the train, and was brought up as a foster child. Never having solid roots, Mel knows that when she has her daughter, she will do anything for her. So she works hard, goes without, and scrapes by. Having escaped an abusive relationship with Billy, the father of her beloved daughter Kate, Mel lives in constant fear that he will turn back up and punish her for the things he feels she did. When Mel gets a random letter from a solicitor telling her she’s been left a hefty inheritance, a large sum of cash, and a motel, at first, Mel thinks it’s a scam. Her trusted childhood friend convinces her to check it out, to discover it’s real. Just like that, all of Mel’s financial woes are behind her, and she gets to start fresh. All she has to do is renovate the motel she was left, make it profitable, and allow the mysterious and silent woman called Sarah to continue living there.

With so many secrets to be revealed and more twists and turns than you could anticipate, Single Mother is a fast-paced, intense story. The characters all have their secrets that slowly get uncovered as the plot thickens, and as the truth comes out… the bodies start to pile up.

Can Mel genuinely start over and find happiness for herself and Kate in their little seaside town? Will the motel truly belong to them? Will the past come back and destroy everything Mel had worked diligently to build?

As Kate starts to thrive in their new home, and as Mel starts to think she could give her heart to local contractor Tom, something is uncovered in the back garden during renovations that are sure to bring Mel’s past and present crashing together.

This was a pretty good book. I enjoyed the build-up, and I enjoyed the big plot twists. The characters were well developed, and their backstories were well thought out. The description of the town and the motel were vivid and easy to visualize. This was a fast-paced story that kept my attention until the very end.

The biggest twist for me was the final twist in the last few paragraphs… redemption and justice are tricky when taken. Secrets won’t stay silent, and voices will be heard. The biggest question is, will Mel and Kate survive the Moreton Inn, or will this be more than they bargained for?

Find Single Mother by Samantha Hayes on Amazon.

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