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Gripping: ‘Until You’re Mine’

Until You're Mine
A Wagner

Until You're Mine, a novel by Samantha Hayes

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While comparisons are odious, it is safe to say that Samantha Hayes’ gripping new thriller, “Until You’re Mine,” just may be this summer’s “Gone Girl.”

These days, perfectly sane people go to great lengths to conceive a child. In vitro fertilization, sperm banks, egg donors, surrogacies, and adoptions – the list of assistive reproductive technologies means that many of the previously infertile can fulfill their dreams. But not every one can.

“Until You’re Mine” is a psychological suspense story that is both about what happens when the desire to have a baby becomes a twisted obsession and a story about the inherent vulnerability of pregnant women.

Social worker Claudia Morgan-Brown, wife to James and stepmother to twins Noah and Oscar, is pregnant. Her naval officer husband, James, has insisted that she hire a nanny to help out, as he will be aboard a submarine when the baby is due. She reluctantly hires Zoe, who moves in with the family and quickly makes herself indispensable.

Claudia, while grateful for the help, feels there is something off about Zoe and doesn’t really trust her. She finds a bloodstained sweatshirt, and a button of Zoe’s in a locked study. Zoe, for her part, is trying hard to integrate into the family, even though readers quickly realize that she isn’t all she presented herself to be:

The worst thing about not being pregnant is that everything in life seems to suddenly involve babies. And the worst thing about having to make up so many stories, literally living in the center of an ever-changing lie, is that the stories get deeper and deeper, more twisted and untrue, so that eventually I have trouble remembering who I really am.

To add to the sense of doom that grows with each page turned, there has been a series of gruesome, murderous attacks on pregnant women that’s being investigated by married detectives Lorraine Fisher and Adam Scott. This couple presents another view of parenting, as they struggle to reconcile marital difficulties with the challenges presented by teen-aged daughters.

Lorraine, Claudia, and Zoe tell the story. As the suspense mounts, it becomes increasingly difficult to know which of the women to trust. “Until You’re Mine” asks one question: what lengths will a woman go to bear a child of her own?” The answer, thanks to a truly surprising twist at the end of this riveting page-turner, is shocking.

“Until You’re Mine” is available at amazon.com and at your favorite New York bookstores.