341W: Deadly sociopathic woman obsessed with her imaginary son resorts to multiple murder (Solved!)

Looking for title and author for newish book, British, contemporary suspense…

Plot highlights: main character is a disturbed divorced woman obsessed with her imaginary child (male). She joins other mothers as they bring or pickup children at the beginning and end of the school day. She deflects not having a child join her at dismissal by saying he must be staying late with teacher and enters school; other mothers leave. She joins mothers in coffee shop most mornings.

This scenario repeats until she meets man at the coffee shop and they strike up a relationship. He is a con artist who befriends lonely women to debunk them and is originally drawn to our main character for this reason. They quickly form a sexual relationship but he remains a bit mysterious and leaves everyday for his ‘secret’ life, to keep pursuing other female victims, one of whom commits suicide and he plays the role of sympathetic suitor/victim to pursue the dead woman’s sister. The main character (Jane?) is suspicious and follows him misinterpreting his relationship with the mystery woman who is now blackmailing him. Main character is successful at sexually manipulating this man, however, and she convinces him they must kill the “son’s” teacher before she reveals main character’s deception…Main character suspects boyfriend of betraying her and starts to slowly poison him. After moving to another school district, Main character is recognized by former mothers group member whom she stalks and kills…

3 thoughts on “341W: Deadly sociopathic woman obsessed with her imaginary son resorts to multiple murder (Solved!)

  1. I suspect that this is “Their Little Secret” by Mark Billingham.

    A review I found:

    “My thanks to the Grove Atlantic and Netgalley for providing a copy of the eBook for my review and comment. The views expressed below are my own.This is a police procedural mystery set in present day England, and is the 16th book in the Tom Thorne series. Thorne is a police detective in London. The story begins with Thorne investigating a suspected suicide death on the underground; jumping in front of a speeding train is not a pleasant way to die. Readers are soon introduced to Conrad and Sarah who meet for the first time at a posh coffee shop where Sarah goes every day with a group of parents after they have dropped off their children at a local school. They are not your average Londoners though, Conrad being a trickster who preys on single women and Sarah having an imaginary son. We follow this creepy couple as they go about their twisted activity, pursued by Thorne and his colleague Nicole Tanner.This is a brilliant and edgy police thriller with truly interesting villains and police detectives. Their individual stories are well-blended into a compelling narrative that makes this a standout read. It’s the second of the Thorne series that I have read, and I will definitely be looking fo enjoy future releases. This one can be read as a standalone even though it’s the 16th in a series.”

    • Lorraine, I believe you are correct! thank you…I had not read Tom Thorne series before so it did not resonate with me as much as the other characters,,,especially Sarah.

    • Yes! you have found it for me! thank you so much….I dont know how to mark it as solved but you didi it!

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