Synopsis from Penguin Random House:
A disturbing and shocking debut novel of psychological suspense about a recently widowed mother, her young son, and the lengths she’ll go to in order to keep him safe.
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.
About: The Perfect Son is a psychological thriller written by Lauren North. It will be published on 8/13/2019 by Berkley Publishing, an imprint of Penguin Random House, paperback, 368 pages. The genres are psychological, thriller, and fiction. This book is the author’s debut. According to Berkley’s website, “Our expertise in women’s fiction, romance, science fiction/fantasy, and mystery/suspense makes us uniquely suited to introduce a new generation of popular novelists and to reinvigorate the publishing programs for established bestselling authors.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading The Perfect Son on 6/30/2019 and finished it on 7/6/2019. This book is an okay read. A slow start to the first 300 pages with readers not knowing much of what’s going on. There are little information trickling in and tensions here and there but not enough to know if it’s real or imagination. Reading and not knowing makes me anticipate for an explosive ending. The ending is okay. This book reminds me of The Woman in the Window. Both female main characters talk to their husbands in their her head. The ending is similar, death is what causes depression.
This book is told in the first person point of view following Teresa (Tess) Clarke as she lay in the hospital with a stab wound the day after her son’s (Jamie) birthday. She remembers 4 things, she’s in the hospital, she has been stabbed, you are alive and Jamie is missing. In between there are interviews with a detective. She wants him to look for her son. The story goes back to the past counting 55 days until Jamie’s 8th birthday. Tess is experiencing grief over her husband’s untimely death a month ago. The timeline is past with Tess dealing with griefs, present with detective interviews, and Ian/Shelley’s comments in between. Ian is Tess’ brother-in-law coming around wanting his money his brother borrowed back and Shelley is the grief counselor helping Tess with her grief.
The Perfect Son is a hard read for me. I dislike not knowing what’s going on and it just continues on forever. It’s the anticipation of the ending that kept me reading. I didn’t expect the ending to be this way, especially regarding to Jamie. I do like that in Tess’ stages of griefs, she is smart enough to change the locks to the house when she felt someone broke into her house. I also liked that she noted down everything that happened to her when she couldn’t trust her memory. I feel Shelley is like the blind leading the blind. She supposed to help but she created more problems. Ian is well written in this case because he’s a selfish prick and turns out he truly is.
Pro: anticipation for the ending
Con: readers not knowing much until the last 50 pages
I rate it 3 stars!
About the Author:
Lauren North studied psychology before moving to London, where she lived and worked for many years. She now lives with her family in the Suffolk countryside. The Perfect Son is her first novel, and she’s working on her second. (Photo obtained from Goodreads and info obtained from Penguin’s website).
More Information about Berkley Publishing
***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Berkley Publishing for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.