The Perfect Daughter by Joseph Souza
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
My review copy was courtesy of Kensington.