There’s something off about Claudia’s new nanny, Zoe. On paper, she’s perfect, and she has a great rapport with Claudia’s twin stepsons. But with Claudia’s husband away a lot, and Claudia often alone with Zoe, the new nanny just makes Claudia feel uneasy. Or perhaps it’s just that Claudia is exhausted, her hands full with her job as a social worker and the impending birth of her first baby, a girl. But when brutal attacks against pregnant women are reported, Claudia is forced to wonder if her uneasiness about Zoe might have a more sinister cause.
A fast-moving psychological thriller, Until You’re Mine will keep readers hooked as they try to puzzle out what is really happening, keeping the reader guessing from beginning to end.
Until You’re Mine is a gripping novel that really ups the ante when it comes to psychological suspense. From the beginning, the reader knows there is something strange about Zoe. She seems weirdly obsessed with Claudia’s children, much more than a nanny should be. She seems to be mourning her own inability to have children, which makes the reader wonder why she would want to be surrounded by someone else’s children and a pregnant woman. Just what does Zoe want from Claudia? Is she somehow after Claudia’s baby? Hayes poses these questions at the beginning of the novel and keeps the reader guessing as to what the answers might be.
Claudia is certainly an interesting character in Until You’re Mine. She’s had many unsuccessful pregnancies leading up to this one, and she wants nothing more than to be a mother. She loves her twin stepsons, but what she really wants is a girl of her own. And her dream is about to come true—which is why she thinks it’s possible she’s just being paranoid about Zoe. She’s fearful that something is going to come between her and the dream she’s had for so long. But the reader knows that there’s more to Claudia’s suspicions than she does. The question is where is it all leading?
Hayes takes the reader on zippy twists and turns through Until You’re Mine, and it appears as though the ending, though clever, is predictable. But then Hayes pulls the rug out from under the reader completely; they realize that she’s been toying with them all along and that nothing is what it seems. I’ll admit, I had to reread the last 50 pages of the book multiple times to truly understand what had happened. Making such a bold plot decision is a huge risk, but in the end, Hayes accomplishes it well.
If you’re looking for a clever and gripping tale of psychological suspense, one that will keep you up late into the night, Until You’re Mine is absolutely a novel you should read. Hayes does an excellent job with her characters and plotting; I’ve read quite a few psychological thrillers, so it’s nice to find one that surprised me and kept me guessing (and floored me with how wrong I was!)