Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Perfect Daughter

The Perfect Daughter by Joseph Souza
Kensington; 4/28/20
eBook review copy; 368 pages 

The Perfect Daughter by Joseph Souza is a recommended mystery set in Shepherd’s Bay, Maine.

High school juniors Katie Eaves and her friend Willow Briggs fail to come home after a night out. When Katie still doesn't come home and Willow's parents haven't seen the girls, Katie's mother Isla is very worried, especially since another teen is still missing after several months. Isla contacts officer Karl Bjornson and search parties are organized. When Katie is found battered and with no memory of what happened. Isla is thankful her daughter is okay, but hopeful that she will remember something to help her friend Willow.

A huge division is already present in the town where long-time residents are resentful of the affluent newcomers who have bought up all the waterfront property, and, well, puttin' on airs because of their wealth. Katie is a townie, her mother is a hairdresser and her father is a loser/entrepreneur/mostly absent. Willow's family are wealthy transplants from L.A.. Rumors are swirling now about the wild parties held at the Briggs' house. Katie still doesn't remember anything and Isla already has her hands full with her son, husband, and father.

The story is told through multiple points-of-view, with each chapter narrated by Isla, Karl, or Katie. The characters are well developed, although not entirely believable as real people. Isla's plate is full with her family and job, but I was more than annoyed with her obsequious behavior toward the wealth newcomers because they brought her in some new business. I would think you could be polite and courteous to all of your clients rather than setting one group aside as more important based on their income. Additionally Katie didn't come across as a junior in high school in her inner dialogue. Included in the narrative is plenty of information about Isla's and Karl's past. 

The novel does have plenty of secrets, but it moves along quickly. The question of who-dun-it is not a huge nail biter since they can likely be pointed out by many readers almost right away. This is a novel to sit down and read quickly in one sitting just to past the time. It's interesting enough to pass the time but ultimately will be forgettable to many readers. Those with a tie to Maine and the coastal areas being developed by wealthy outsiders might find more to relate to. Another 3.5 rounded down.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Kensington.

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