The Due Date | Niki Mackay

Author Niki MacKay and cover of her book the Due Date


Who can you trust in this past-paced psychological thriller?

The Due Date has an unnerving sense of unease throughout that gives the novel sustained and heightened tension. In fact, at the end I realised I was holding my breath because author Niki Mackay made me so anxious. I was completely manipulated, never knowing quite who was a danger to whom.

The Due Date Synopsis

As the book concentrates on main character Ali’s pregnancy, I wasn’t sure I would enjoy it, since it felt so focused on the impact of a newborn child. However, as the story continued, I realised what a brilliant technique this was. The way both characters and readers alike are affected is thoroughly convincing and crucial to this fast-paced plot.

Ali’s first-person narrative draws us in due to her confidential tone. Her sense of panic towards the end of her pregnancy and immediately after the birth is strong and realistic. The more I got to know her, the less I could decide if she was simply needy – perhaps suffering from postnatal depression – or just an ordinary woman who was going through the same experiences as so many others. Mackay’s writing compelled me to read on; I was desperate to discover how the narrative would conclude.

Part two of The Due Date

The second part of The Due Date is quite a jolt and it resets our understanding of the narrative. Ali’s story is suddenly interspersed with her friend Rebecca’s perspective. The drip-feeding of information is so effective, it makes us feel as if we are somehow snooping into Rebecca’s past. The more we discover, the less we really know.

Characters are alive on the page, vivid and multilayered. The dynamics of female friendship and toxic relationships, the desire for connection, and the way marriage works are themes that tie the characters together in a maelstrom of loyalty, danger and deception. Mackay makes us wonder just how well we know those around us. I was incredibly suspicious of Dan throughout, waiting for his veneer of caring husband to crack. You’ll need to read The Due Date to see if I was justified in those suspicions!

The Due Date is a convincing, fast-paced psychological thriller that will ensnare the reader and leave them completely unsettled.

The Due Date by Niki Mackay is out now in paperback (Headline, £10.99) and available from Amazon.

Read more reviews by Linda Hill here.