Welcome to the nbmagazine.co.uk stop on the blog tour for Woman on the Edge by Samantha M Bailey!

Here’s a little info about the book:

In a split second, Morgan’s life changes for ever. A stranger hands her a baby, then jumps in front of a train.

Morgan has never seen the woman before and she can’t understand what would cause a person to give away her child and take her own life.

When the police question Morgan, she discovers none of the witnesses can corroborate her version of events. And when they learn Morgan longs for a baby of her own, she becomes a suspect.

To prove her innocence, Morgan frantically tries to retrace the last days of the woman’s life. She begins to understand that Nicole Markham believed she and her baby were in danger. Now Morgan might be in danger, too.

Was Nicole a new mother struggling with paranoia?

Or is something much darker going on?

And about author Samantha M Bailey:

Samantha M Bailey is a Toronto-based journalist and freelance editor who’s written extensively for Now Magazine, Oxford University Press, and several other publications. She’s also the co-founder of “BookBuzz,” a promotional and interactive author-reader event held in New York City and Toronto that has attracted the attention of prominent publicists, influential media, and bestselling authors. She holds a Master’s of Education in Applied Linguistics and credits that degree with inspiring her writing career because she wrote her first novel while taking a course on imagination.

And here’s Paul Burke’s review of Woman on the Edge:

Woman on the Edge is a decent domestic noir that will appeal to readers who like a twist in the tale/tail. This novel is an easy read once you get into the flow, a perfect winter afternoon sojourn into a psychological hall of mirrors. It’s well written and pacy, but this is not a book to linger on the details, it’s not difficult to start figuring things out, just allow yourself to get caught up in the atmosphere and carried along by the story. There’s a real sense of jeopardy that keeps things edgy and gripping.

Morgan – Monday 7th August.

“Take my baby.”, says the woman, her tone makes Morgan flinch, then she realises the woman is talking directly to her. It shakes Morgan out of her reverie, she is still pre-occupied with the death of her husband Ryan, he committed suicide when his embezzlement was uncovered, the stigma has attached to Morgan. The woman repeats her plea more urgently; “Please, take my baby.” She sees the beautiful little baby the woman is clutching tightly to her chest. They are standing on a platform at Grand/State Station. The woman is wild eyed, her lips are raw from chewing, she looks terrified. Should Morgan help this strangely disturbed woman, she works at Haven House, a woman’s shelter, after all? There’s no time to think clearly. Then the woman uses her name, she definitely calls her Morgan, then she says she knows what Morgan wants. How can the stranger know anything about her? Suddenly, she thrusts the baby into Morgan’s arms and steps back, a train is coming into the station, the woman jumps. . .

Nicole – before.

Nicole wants to make sure that the last ad campaign she manages before she goes on maternity leave is perfect, she’s busy with last minute changes. Nicole is the CEO of athleisure and wellness company Breathe. She only intends to be off for seven weeks, she can’t imagine not working. Then the envelop arrives, it fills her with dread, there hasn’t been one for five years, before that they used to come once a year. The first one when she was at Colombia College:

“I know what you did. You were supposed to keep her safe. One day you will pay.”

Nicole thinks it’s Donna, she hasn’t forgotten what happened all those years ago. The new letter indicates that Donna has seen the news of Nicole’s pregnancy in the Tribune. Nicole had not wanted anyone from the past to know, her life had fallen apart nineteen years ago in Kenosha, Wisconsin, now she was a different person.

The new threat read:

“You don’t deserve a baby girl. You’re a murderer. You can’t keep her safe.”

Nicole has the baby, a girl, but things begin to get strange almost immediately, her joy is soon cut short, is she paranoid or is there a real danger? She fears for her safety and that of her child.

Morgan clung on to the baby after Nicole jumped. People began to gather around her, there are questions: Was she your friend? How’s the baby? A cop takes her to the station for a statement. Morgan explains that the woman gave her the baby and jumped, but she can’t explain how Nicole, a woman she had never met knew her name. The police are sceptical, the woman landed on the track face up, which means if she committed suicide she threw herself off the platform backwards, that’s unusual. Then they discover Morgan wants a baby, they start putting two and two together . . .

Why would a woman Morgan doesn’t know give her her baby and then commit suicide? What kind of danger was she in? It isn’t long before Morgan begins to feel her own life may be in danger. She has no choice but to find out what happened in Nicole’s life that led to this tragedy . . .

The premise is really interesting and this is a tense and fraught tale of betrayal, love, loss and sacrifice. A page turner that twists the emotional knife in the gut. I can’t say any of the characters are likeable but both Morgan and Nicole are well drawn. Honestly there are too many of these domestic noirs out there at the moment, it’s a crowded field, so picking the right one matters. Woman on the Edge stands out because of the sense of apprehension that it engenders in the reader. A promising debut, it’s largely unsophisticated prose and easy storytelling make it very accessible.

Paul Burke 3/4

Woman on the Edge by Samantha M Bailey
Headline 9781472264640 pbk Nov 2019