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The Perfect Daughter

The Perfect Daughter, April 2021
by D.J. Palmer

St. Martin's Press
384 pages
ISBN: 1250267927
EAN: 9781250267924
Kindle: B08BYC8KX2
Hardcover / e-Book
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"D.J Palmer’s book threw me back to my old school Soap Opera days!"

Fresh Fiction Review

The Perfect Daughter
D.J. Palmer

Reviewed by Angie Elle
Posted April 15, 2021

Fiction | Thriller | Suspense

I knew after reading D.J. Palmer’s last release that I’d be reading whatever came next. And when I read the blurb for THE PERFECT DAUGHTER, my excitement was through the roof. It reminded me of late 80s early 90s soaps, and I have fond memories of watching these with my mother and my grandmother. And for a while, this book really fed that part of me. When murder rocks her family, Grace Francone is convinced that her daughter, though covered in blood and holding the murder weapon, couldn’t have done it. 

Grace’s daughter, Penny, has Dissociative Identity Order, and when Penny is accused of murder, a personality named Eve comes forth to protect them. Eve is strong with an “I don’t care” attitude that serves Penny and her other personalities in the hard times. I found this aspect of the story incredibly interesting, and it was this that reminded me of the soap operas I used to watch. There were times when it felt like a character study, particularly when we were in Dr. McHugh’s point of view, who was as fascinated as I, the reader, was with Penny’s circumstances. I really liked Grace’s character. She was going to get to the bottom of what happened the night Penny’s birth mother died because her daughter’s freedom was on the line. She was fierce in her defense of her daughter's innocence. I also really liked Grace’s sister in Law, Annie. There were times when maybe she felt a bit caricature-ish, but it gave the story some much-needed light moments. And she was as loyal to Grace as Grace was to Penny. I really enjoyed their relationship. Grace’s two sons, Ryan and Jack, were interesting characters, and they added a mysterious dynamic to the story.

While I did enjoy this novel for the most part, I found the ending to be a bit predictable. There was an escalation scene at the end that I thought was quite exaggerated, and it took an otherwise serious story and had me rolling my eyes a bit. Having said that, THE PERFECT DAUGHTER was worth the read, and I’m looking forward to the author’s next offering.

Learn more about The Perfect Daughter

SUMMARY

The Perfect Daughter is a thriller that explores the truth or lies behind a teenage girl's multiple personality disorder, from D.J. Palmer, the author of The New Husband.

Grace never dreamt she’d visit her teenaged daughter Penny in the locked ward of a decaying state psychiatric hospital, charged with the murder of a stranger. There was not much question of her daughter’s guilt. Police had her fingerprints on the murder weapon and the victim’s blood on her body and clothes. But they didn’t have a motive.

Grace blames herself, because that’s what mothers do—they look at their choices and wonder, what if? But hindsight offers little more than the chance for regret.

None of this was conceivable the day Penny came into her life. Then, it seemed like a miracle. Penny was found abandoned, with a mysterious past, and it felt like fate brought Penny to her, and her husband Arthur. But as she grew, Penny's actions grew more disturbing, and different "personalities" emerged.

Arthur and Grace took Penny to different psychiatrists, many of whom believed she was putting on a show to help manage her trauma. But Grace didn’t buy it. The personas were too real, too consistent. It had to be a severe multiple personality disorder. One determined psychiatrist, Dr. Mitch McHugh, helped discover someone new inside Penny—a young girl named Abigail. Is this the nameless girl who was abandoned in the park years ago? Mitch thinks Abigail is the key to Penny’s past and to the murder. But as Grace and Mitch dig deeper, they uncover dark and shocking secrets that put all their lives in grave danger.


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