Select one of the keywords
The Perfect Son    by Lauren North order for
Perfect Son
by Lauren North
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2019 (2019)
Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Lauren North's The Perfect Son is a gripping - and surprising - novel of psychological suspense. It opens with its protagonist, Tess Clarke, in hospital, recovering from being stabbed. It happened on her son Jamie's eighth birthday and he's been missing since then.

The author takes readers back and forth in time to show what led to this violent act, revealing the involvement of two other key players - Tess's brother-in-law Ian and Shelley, the grief counselor who became her close friend. Why did Tess need a grief counselor? Her beloved husband Mark died when a pilot crashed a passenger plane he was on.

Lying in her hospital bed, Tess tries to recall the events that led up to her stabbing at Jamie's birthday party, and her growing distrust of both Shelley and Ian. Details are fuzzy, and all she wants is to be reunited with her son Jamie. The police interview her, but why can't they find her son?

Tess's recollections begin 55 days before her small son's birthday when she received the devastating news of the plane crash and her husband's death. Readers share that with her, as well as the grief and depression that overwhelms her.

Shelley enters her life and helps her cope. Ian shows up, demanding money that he claims he lent Mark - is this true? There's a threatening phone call, and she learns that Mark kept secrets from her. Tess fears that Shelley, who lost her own child, wants to take Jamie from her. It all comes to a crisis on Jamie's birthday.

If you enjoy psychological mysteries, this one is not to be missed. I did not see the ending coming.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Mystery books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews