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Paula Daly Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Just What Kind of Mother Are You? (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Keep Your Friends Close (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Mistake I Made (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Trophy Child (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Open Your Eyes (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Clear My Name (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Paula Daly is a British thriller, suspense and mystery author from Lancashire. Daly started out as a self-employed physiotherapist before she hit it big with her debut Just What Kind of Mother Are You which she published in 2013. Keep Your Friends Close her second novel made the shortlist for the CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger Award in 2014. Given the popularity of her novels, they have been translated into more than fourteen languages across the globe. Just like many authors she has her comfort reads the best of which is Anne of Green Gables and anything by Kate Atkinson. She has been reading the novel for years and asserts that she wants to be the lead character Anne on some level. Paula loves reading and can do it practically anywhere from in bed with a coffee in the morning in the bath in the evenings, in the car while waiting for her children to come out of school and even when she is cooking. As for her writing, she loves to do between 800-1000 words every day from her bedroom that overlooks Lake Windermere. When she is not writing she loves to either take a nap or daydream while taking in the beauty outside her window.

Paula Daly has always been among the millions that always dreamed of becoming a professional author so that they never have to go to a day job. But like many aspiring authors, she did not know where to start since she was a physiotherapist that had last studied English as a sixteen-year-old. But everything changed when she told a friend about her ambitions and she recommended she read “On Writing,” the bestselling writing manual by Stephen King. Daly finished the book in a few days and immediately started writing. She now had all the confidence and suddenly she stories pouring out of every ear and she just could not stop writing. After writing short stories for a few weeks she decided to go big but the result was a frivolous and silly psychological thriller that attracted an agent though was not good enough for publishing. Paula Daly’s manuscript for “Just What Kind of Mother Are You?” was rejected by many of the large publishers as not being good enough. However, once she figured out character motivation and found a great premise for it, she rewrote and it sold within a week. “Just What Kind of Mother Are You”” the debut and the third novel “The Mistake I Made” were adapted into a film by Anna Symon, the BAFTA-nominated writer. Daly’s other novels include “The Trophy Child,” “Clear My Name,” and “Keep Your Friends Close.”

Daly writes compelling unputdownable novels that make it so easy to get caught up in the lives of her characters. Reading the stories in the novels, one cannot help but want to know how it is all going to end. Paula Daly has an excellent eye for the intricate character foibles and details and has a way of describing the setting which makes for a very authentic sense of place. For instance, her Lake District setting is a vivid one that is brought to life with grace and beauty. She makes her settings so great one wants to go live in them only that there is now fair reason to look at the neighbors with suspicion. Daly often messes with her characters and puts hurdles in their path that makes the story even more interesting. Her stories are always funny, fascinating and come with a dark undertones. However, the best thing about them is that they are unpredictable though they are grounded in a reality in which anything could happen.

“Just What Kind of Mother Are You?” the first novel by Paula Daly is a sinister and searing thriller that asks the question of what happens when you are left in charge of your best friend’s child who then goes missing. Lisa of English Lake District is left to take care of her best friend’s child on a freezing December day. She gets distracted for a minute and when she gets her eyes back on the ball, Lucinda the thirteen-year-old girl is gone. It is the stuff of nightmares, particularly in the face of the fact that she is the second child to go missing in the community in a fortnight. The other girl that had been abducted had been found dumped on a busy thoroughfare, stripped naked and having been abused by her abductors. Lisa is devastated and full of guilt and it does not help that Lucinda’s family publicly places the blame on her. She decides to make things right by investigating the mystery herself. But as she starts investigating, she discovers that the quaint, posh town may not be all that she believed it was.

Paula Daly’s “Keep Your Friends Close” got a nomination for Best Crime Novel of the Year by CWA Gold Dagger. It is the story of a wife and husband and their devious best friend who barges in to break up their marriage. Sean and Natty have a great marriage, a beautiful house, a successful business, two children and are the model family in town. When the youngest of the children falls ill, Natty brings her home but cannot stay with her while she is recuperating, as she works in another town. But then Eve who is the best friend that she has known since her college days offers to extend her visit while also helping around the house. Natty comes back to find Eve has settled in to life in her home a little too well. Sean seems to have fallen for her best friend and she now has to work hard to save her marriage. But Eve is determined to wreck the marriage as she just works harder to destroy everything. Natty is more terrified when she gets a note from an enigmatic person who says this is not the first time Eve has done this. It turns out that her former best friend is a malicious serial mistress and that she had killed two men who fell to her charms before. Natty now needs to traverse a perfidious maze of lies and secrets that threaten her life and that of her family.

Paula Daly’s “The Mistake I Made” is a captivating new thriller that focuses on family drama and psychological suspense in the face of an indecent proposal. Roz is a single mother whose life is falling apart. She just got her marriage dissolved, she is late on her rent, her business is collapsing, her debtors are on her back, and she does not have enough to provide for her nine-year-old child who has recently been getting into a lot of trouble in school. She comes back home one evening to find an eviction notice pinned on her door and knows she has to do something. Roz has only two weeks to find the money or they will be thrown out of their home. She is desperate and does not know where to get the money until a good opportunity presents itself. At her sister’s birthday party, she meets a powerful, wealthy man named Scott Elias and leaves an indelible impression on him. He asks her to spend the night with him for money but the problem is the man is already married. Elias promises total discretion for a no strings attached night of intimacy. He is offering money that could clear all of her debts and get her life back on track. But things soon spiral out of control and she has to do things she never thought she would ever do.

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