Playing Nice – Book Review

By Sue Baldani

What if a stranger came to your home and told you that your child wasn’t really yours? That he was switched at birth with the stranger’s son? In the book “Playing Nice” by JP Delaney, this is exactly what happens.

When stay-at-home dad Pete Riley opens the door of his small house in London one ordinary morning, he thinks the gentleman ringing the bell is looking to buy or possibly sell something. He has no idea that after this encounter, his life and that of his family will never be ordinary again.

“Playing Nice,” published in 2020, leads readers through a myriad of emotions, from sadness and fear to anger and disbelief. The characters they think are charming and perfectly normal may actually be the ones who are the most evil. And those telling Pete not to worry, that everything can be worked out, may be the most conniving of all.

Who knows what really goes on in people’s minds, or for that matter, behind closed doors? Many have secrets, and keeping these secrets from getting out may be worth killing for. But could these everyday, well-educated parents really go to that extreme? Why yes, because at least one is what psychiatrists would label a psychopath.

While Pete and his partner Maddie try to deal with the nightmare of possibly losing their 2-year-old child Ben, they also face the unimaginable consequence of not being able to raise their own birth child. The situation may force this once ordinary couple to do things they never imagined.  And it may make the other couple do even worse.

Also, can evil genes be inherited? Ben, even as a toddler, has shown himself to exhibit some of his “real” father’s less-than-admirable traits. If they do manage to hold onto Ben, how can they prevent him from following in his father’s footsteps?

Readers will be taken on a wild ride as the two couples battle to keep not only what’s rightly theirs, but also what isn’t. Who will win, and who will lose, possibly even paying with their own life?

JP Delany is a pseudonym for an author who has written under many different names. His New York Times bestsellers include “The Girl Before,” “Believe Me,” and “The Perfect Wife.” To find out more about him and his books, go to

 Susan Baldani lives in the U.S. and writes articles about small town life, décor, books and food for various magazines across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. You can contact her at, through her website at, or on Twitter @mywritingwall.

Written for The Felixstowe Magazine in Felixstowe, Suffolk, England.

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