Published: November 1st, 2021
Publisher: Amazon Publishing UK
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Suspense
Format: Paperback, Kindle, Audiobook
I’m delighted to share my review for this tense and twisty thriller. Thank you to Amazon Publishing for the copy of the book.
A gripping psychological thriller from the bestselling author of I Am Watching You. The perfect family? Or the perfect lie?
It’s their daughter’s graduation and Rachel and Ed Hartley are expecting it to be one of their family’s happiest days. But when she stumbles and falls on stage during the ceremony, a beautiful moment turns to chaos: Gemma has been shot, and just like that, she’s fighting for her life.
PI Matthew Hill is one of the first on the scene. A cryptic message Gemma received earlier in the day suggests someone close to her was about to be exposed. But who? As Matthew starts to investigate, he finds more and more layers obscuring the truth. He even begins to suspect the Hartleys are hiding something big―from him and from each other.
While Gemma lies in hospital in a coma, her would-be killer is still out there. Can Matthew unravel the family’s secrets before the attacker strikes again?
Have you ever hidden a dark secret to try and protect those you love?
In Her Perfect Family, the latest gripping thriller from Teresa Driscoll, that is exactly what the characters have done. And you will ask yourself if it is ever okay to do so again and again as their dark secrets and the consequences of keeping them are revealed. Gemma Hartley is in a coma after being shot at her university graduation. No one seems to have any idea who would do this or why. But as PI Matthew Hill investigates he uncovers secrets that the Hartley family have been keeping, even from each other. Secrets that could hold the key to this whole mystery. But can he unravel the whole truth before the attacker strikes again?
I’m a big fan of Teresa Driscoll’s previous books as she can always be relied upon to write a riveting thriller. Once again she has delivered, crafting a fast-paced psychological thriller that sizzles with suspense and foreboding. The intricately woven plot is rich with dark secrets, lies and obsession, the truth hidden beneath layers of painful secrets, some of which have been kept hidden for decades. But the truth is always revealed, as they say, and that is certainly the case in this book as the investigation into Gemma’s shooting reveals that things aren’t what they seem for any of the Hartley family, the story getting curiouser and curiouser the more we know. And when all of the pieces were put together to unveil the final picture, it looked nothing like I expected, leaving my jaw on the floor as even my wildest guesses were proven wrong.
The story is told from multiple points of view which allows us to really get to know these vivid, deeply flawed characters. We learn their secrets before anyone else does and see their heartache, fear, guilt, regret and inner turmoil laid bare. It was great to be back with familiar characters, particularly PI Matthew Hill, who is one of my favourite crime series protagonists. If I ever needed a PI then he would certainly be the man I’d want to call and I enjoyed being back with him and DI Melanie Sanders as they try to piece together this twisty puzzle. I also liked that even though she is in a coma Gemma is still a very present character and that the author did this not only through flashbacks, but also with the chapters told by her while in a coma. These chapters were beautifully written, with a dream-like quality that felt so authentic. Her confusion and frustration was evocatively written, leaping from the pages and breaking my heart with how desperately she wanted to return to her life and her family while having no idea how to. These chapters not only connected me to Gemma, but her recovery, making me root for her to regain consciousness in a way I wouldn’t have done without them.
One of my favourite tropes in thrillers is when the mysterious perpetrator is one of the narrators and I was happy to see it in this book. I liked getting to know them from the inside while still wondering who they were, searching their monologues for clues that might reveal their identity. I feel like it heightens the suspense and gives you an insight into what makes them tick, even if it is quite dark and disturbing. I liked that there were a few suspects in this case, so although I had my suspicions, I was never completely sure. I don’t mind admitting that the author had me totally fooled and I never once suspected the actual perpetrator, leaving me shook when we got to the big reveal.
Tense, twisty and addictive, this superb psychological thriller is one not to be missed. Though I highly recommend Ms. Driscoll’s previous books, you can read this as a standalone too.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Teresa Driscoll is a former BBC TV news presenter whose psychological thrillers have sold more than two million copies across the world.
Her first thriller I Am Watching You hit Kindle Number 1 in the UK, USA and Australia and has sold more than a million copies in English alone.
Teresa writes women’s fiction as well as thrillers and her work has been optioned for film and sold for translation in more than 20 territories.
For decades Teresa was a journalist working across newspapers, magazines and television. Covering crime for so long, she was deeply moved by the haunting impact on the relatives, the friends and the witnesses and it is those ripples she explores now in her darker fiction.
Teresa lives in glorious Devon with her family and blogs regularly about her “writing life” at her website.
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Thanks for reading Bibliophiles 😊 Emma xxx