Atria/Emily Bestler Books, July 3 2012, $15.00
In London, affluent married mother of three Suzy Howard and impoverished single mom Callie Roberts are best friends who help each other with their respective children. Callie lacks any self-esteem since her divorce and how the neighbors treat her and her five-year-old daughter with a heart condition Rae as if they have the plague. All the moms make it clear displaying overt hostility that they want her and her child to stay away from them and their family. The one exception is Suzy, who she owes a debt of gratitude for befriending her.
Callie decides to look for work as a first step to regain her lost confidence. When she obtains a job, she knows she should tell Suzy but she hesitates and is not sure why. When Suzy learns Callie returned to work without telling her, she feels betrayed. Meanwhile the new neighbor schoolteacher Debs Ribwell offers Callie friendship.
Rotating viewpoint between the three women, The Playdate is an intriguing psychological thriller that starts as a treatise on how well even best friends and neighbors truly know each other before turning into a taut chiller. The three females are fully developed while the support cast enhances the growing tension. Readers will appreciate Louise Miller’s thought-provoking drama as the masks slowly come off.