Review: Not My Boy by Kelly Simmons

It’s a new year and this is my first official book review of 2021 and I must say, I was thrilled to start the year off with a bang when it came to my first read of the new year! I have read only one other book by this author and it was pretty good so I was looking forward to picking up another by her!

While I loved the cover (the little boy with a red coat is just so eye catching), I think it was the summary the truly sold me on this one as a potential read. Whenever a review pitch comes across my desk I always read each one and a catchy summary and book cover always help a book to stand out!

I liked the idea of an upper middle class setting and the idea of a wrongly accused son with a mama bear to protect him. I thought it would a relatable book for me as I have a son as well. I dove in during winter break and was eager to wrap up my first read of 2021.


Who will you cross to protect your own?

When Hannah packs up her past and moves to the cottage next-door to her sister, she hopes the luxe neighborhood and close family ties will be the perfect escape for her son and the shadows that trail them. But when a young girl goes missing days after they unload their final boxes and her son is quickly thrown under suspicion, Hannah must do whatever it takes to protect her child.

Even if that means pointing the blame her sister’s way instead.

With investigators swarming and neighborhood scrutiny closing in, the divide between two sisters grows. As one fiercely defends her husband, the other shields her boy from the crime, keeping quiet the secrets that might unravel it all.

And all the while, one young girl has vanished, and someone is to blame.  (summary from Goodreads)


The first thing that stood out to me in this book was how quickly some of the characters turned on one another. I loved that the mom was basically like ‘oh no not my child, look at my other family instead!’. I was like, wow that’s savage! But yet not entirely unbelievable—in fact I found it very believable and I enjoyed watching how the characters changed and justified their actions in the story.

I didn’t necessarily connect with some of the characters right away, it admittedly did take me a few chapters to connect with Hannah and while I might not have felt truly connected with her, I felt enough of a connection to continue reading and enjoying the story. While I might not have loved Hannah, I did love the concept of this story. The sisters who were each trying to protect the ones they love was realistic and suspenseful for sure! I couldn’t help but be mistrustful of some of the characters and their motivations. That is what made the book for me.

This was a very relevant read and I read it very quickly. I loved the setting and the family aspects of the thriller. I think I would actually label this one as more suspense rather than thriller though. There were a few twists to keep me guessing and on my toes but what truly stood out to me was the characters ability to turn on one another. Their motivations were compelling and interesting and I loved this unique study of regular middle class families with dark secrets and motivations and a past to hide. It was well written and enjoyable, I can’t wait to read more by this author in the future! This is only my second book by Simmons and I am already looking forward to more!

Book Info and Rating

Paperback, 304 pages

January 5th 2021 by Sourcebooks Landmark

ISBN1728217660 (ISBN13: 9781728217666)

Free review copy provided by publisher, Sourcebooks, and author in partnership with the Tall Poppy Writer/Blogger program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.

Rating: 4 stars

Genre: suspense, thriller, mystery


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