The Perfect Son by Lauren North
ebook, 359 pages
Published August 13th 2019 by Berkley Publishing Group
About the Book:
When Tess Clarke wakes up in the hospital the day after her son Jamie's eighth birthday, she's sure of these things: She's been stabbed, her son is missing, her brother-in-law and her grief counselor are involved. But no one is listening to her. After her husband, Mark, died suddenly in a terrible accident a few months earlier, the only thing keeping Tess together is Jamie. As they struggle to make sense of their new life without Mark, they find joy in brief moments of normalcy like walking to school and watching television together. Life is hard without Mark, but Tess has Jamie, and that's what matters. But there in the hospital, confused and surrounded by people who won't listen, Tess’s world falls apart. To save her son, she must piece together what happened between Mark's death and Jamie's birthday, but the truth might just be too much for her to bear.
I had a good idea of the big reveal before the 33% mark but it didn't take away from the enjoyment of the book. The book is well written, in a casual style. It is not a challenging read, which is not meant to be derogatory but a simple description. It has a breathless compelling style that will likely have you turning those pages. The book is a psychological thriller, with emphasis on “psychological”. I would call it a mystery rather than a thriller. Another child is missing book but done a little differently.
All the above may not seem too exciting and sounds a little like synopsis of other books. But it is how this book is written that makes the whole difference. The pacing is perfect. The characters are mostly unlikable but their motivation, actions and emotions seem very real. One can actually feel why they did (or did not do) certain things and even sympathize with them. The author seems to have a very deep understanding of dark parts of the human psyche. The mystery part, although smart, is a little predictable at times but it did not spoil my reading because I was always anticipating what new secrets will be unraveled and what new and unpredictable actions the protagonists will take.
Bottom line: If you like psychological mysteries (as I do) give this book a shot.
Thank you NetGalley, Lauren North and Berkley Publishing Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own.
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