The Perfect Son
Berkley, 2019 (2019)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
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.
he 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.
ying 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?
ess'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.
helley 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.
f you enjoy psychological mysteries, this one is not to be missed. I did not see the ending coming.
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