Monday, April 19, 2021

Book Review: The Perfect Daughter by DJ Palmer


Grace never dreamt she’d visit her teenage 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. 


Wow….that is all I have to say about The Perfect Daughter by DJ Palmer..just wow…the ending. I did NOT see that coming at all… I could end it there but that would be a shite review, wouldn’t it?

Penny has DID which is short for Disassociative Identity Disorder or what use to be called Multiple Personality Disorder, and she has been found covered in blood, holding a knife kneeling down next to her birth mother's brutally murdered body. She is sent to an institute for the criminally insane until her trial. Her mother, is hell-bent on proving that Penny did not kill Rachel ( her birth mother ) But did she?

The book is a great psychological thriller with its horrific murder, and characters that were unpredictable and unreliable. The characters are all well developed, and the scenes with Penny or one of her alters ( the other personalities, Eve, Chloe, and Ruth ) are chilling to read. Palmer seemed to have really done his research on the disorder, and I really liked these moments in the book, learning a bit about the disorder with each scene.

The writing was brilliant and addictive and kept me reading late into the night. Palmer knows how to take the reader on a wild ride of twists and turns, throwing in plenty of roadblocks that will have you guessing if the path you were on was right.

The courtroom scene, which finally reveals the truth, is TV-worthy and will leave you re-reading to make sure you really read what you read. It is definitely a WTF moment.

Tense moments and certainly suspenseful, The Perfect Daughter will not disappoint the thriller fans.

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