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The Perfect Child

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4.10  ·  Rating details ·  37,511 ratings  ·  3,299 reviews
A page-turning debut of suspense about a young couple desperate to have a child of their own—and the unsettling consequences of getting what they always wanted.

Christopher and Hannah are a happily married surgeon and nurse with picture-perfect lives. All that’s missing is a child. When Janie, an abandoned six-year-old, turns up at their hospital, Christopher forms an insta
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Hardcover, 370 pages
Published March 1st 2019 by Thomas & Mercer
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Jeanine Stage No. I was worried about that initially myself, but it is very different. Janie is an actual child.

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  37,511 ratings  ·  3,299 reviews


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Danielle
I’m okay with not having a happy ending, but an ENDING would be nice. I feel like the book ended in what should have been the end of a chapter.

Good book, although I found the husband, Christopher, INFURIATING.
Elaine Maynard
Feb 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
There was a knock on the door, I peeped behind the curtains to see who it was then I didn't bother to write a review after all.

Michelle
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One word to sufficiently describe this book: DISTURBING!!!

Dr. Christopher Bauer and his wife, Hannah, have been struggling with infertility for years. Hannah, now 41, has all but given up hope of having children until.....

A young girl is found abandoned and walking alone through a parking lot covered in blood, malnourished, and once examined, is found to have multiple old and new bone fractures, none of which have ever been treated. Once thought to be a toddler it turns out after surgery that sh
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Crumb
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
FULL REVIEW UP!

Watch the Line Between Fiction and Reality Get Truly Blurred in this Chilling Novel

A Perfect October Read.

Christopher and Hannah have it all - except one thing . . . A child.
They had pretty much given up all hope . . . until they met Janie.

Janie was exposed to unimaginable horrors and abuse and while Christopher and Hannah were aware of her history, she seemed like a wonderful little girl, despite it all. While Janie took a shine to Christopher and didn't seem to warm up as mu
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☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
BEWARE OF SPOILERS! A dead meth addict's child being wild proves to be a pretty good read, even though placed far out in the field of unbelievable. I'm not sure where the ending is, though.

Do regular 6-year old undernourished kids the size of a newborn (even crazy ones) have the necessary strength to kill a grown up meth addict?

Is it really all right to ignore that the kid's mentally ill? And she's not just blandly 'ill', but bonkers and plenty dangerous to other people, not just herself.

All th
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Bridgett
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-first
I'm not sure I've ever read such a crazy, intense, non-stop, haunting, anxiety producing novel...but only in the best and most desirable way. I didn't want it to end.

Once this book has you in it's grips, it won't let go. I started it this morning and literally could not put it down. My poor husband probably feels deprived.

Having received The Perfect Child free as a Kindle First February option, I honestly didn't have high expectations. These freebie books are hit or miss for me. Sometimes t
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Cristina Monica
This is one messed up book and Janie is one messed up child. You’d think that the more psychological thrillers you read, the less they will affect you. But actually, it doesn’t work like that. If anything, your insides instinctively prepare themselves to be disturbed the moment you begin a new thriller.

I read this story at night. First mistake. My second was to take a break from it by taking a shower in my apartment, alone, at 4 am. Normally, I don’t care, I feel safe enough. But that night, the
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Monika Sadowski
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jesus, What I’ve just read?!?! This book is very disturbing but I couldn’t put it down.  My emotions where all over the place because I didn’t know who should I feel sorry for more. I guess all of them :(
It is a story of the couple Dr Christopher Bauer and his wife Hannah, who adopted an abused by her real mom child, Jenie. I think they underestimated how hard it is to foster traumatized child.
Lucinda Berry is a trauma psychologist and she uses her clinical experience to create psychological thr
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Krissy
Christopher was a blind IDIOT. I can't tell you how livid he made me. How can a supposed intelligent DOCTOR be in such denial??? And do you want to know what else infuriated me? The fact that-




(Hate the way I ended my rant? Then you'll hate the way the author ended this book.)
Elyse  Walters
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Audiobook.....
.....narrated by Christine Williams Erin Bennett, Dan John Miller

The three voice narrators kept me interested - really hooked!!!

One reviewer compared this to ‘Baby Teeth’. Both books deal with a mentally troubled child....
But where ‘Baby Teeth’ was fiction nonsense — in which several of my friends who are child therapists agree.... ( Baby Teeth being way out in left field - one which few therapists vouch it’s realistic qualities-in which a young child expresses she wants daddy to k
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Aga Durka
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks-2019
5 Disturbing Stars!!

This book will stay with me for a very long time. It was a disturbing and horrifying read but also it was so painfully real that it made my hair stand up on my arms at times. It is definitely not an easy read but oh so captivating and so hard to put down.

I admire any parent that decides to adopt or even foster a child, especially a child that has special needs, mental or physical. Christopher and Hanna lived through a spine-chilling nightmare, when they adopted Janie, an abu
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Stacie
Feb 03, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
No ending!

Great story, but then it just stopped. It was as if the author got tired and quit. Such a disappointment.
Lisa
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
Okay I have been thinking about this book for the past 24 hours as what I am going to write well here it goes it was one disturbing read which I am not sure if I liked it or not. I had a few issues with it, first of Christopher got under my skin how could a Orthopaedic surgeon be so gullible, knowing true well what Janie was like even though he thought she was the apple of his eye could not do anything wrong... yeah right.... Piper Goldstein was Janie's social worker she did all that she could t ...more
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
After years of infertility Dr Christopher Bauer and his wife Hannah, a nurse, gave up the idea of having a biological child. When abandoned and battered six-year-old Janie winds up in the ER, they decide to adopt her. Despite warnings from professionals that Janie trauma will take years to heal, if it ever does, the Bauers feel they are equipped. Then somebody dies.

Readers don’t know who the murder victim(s) is (or are) until near the end of THE PERFECT CHILD. Told from the first person points o
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Kimberly
I'm struggling with how I should rate this book. It contains a lot of triggers that would normally make me stay clear of this story. And yet I couldn't stop reading. Lucinda Berry has written a very tense thriller, leaving me feeling completely disturbed by the time I turned the last page. Would I ever read this again? No Way! But I would definitely be willing to read other works by this author.

I would like to give a warning that this book is definitely not for everyone. This book covers topics
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Christine
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely INCREDIBLE! This is my second read from Lucinda Berry and she is a phenomenal writer. I just bought two more of her books, Phantom Limb, was just .99¢ today!

This book touched me, sent chills down my spine several times. I have worked with severely emotionally disturbed children, many who were in foster care. It touched me so much that I became an emergency placement foster parent. When I got married and had children I told my husband I was done having children in my home, I would not
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Terry
Feb 25, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Too long, too boring, too unbelievable!

And worse, NO ending! Perfect flop. BTW, having worked in CPS, There's NO WAY a mother called SEVEN TIMES begging for help and NO ONE responded. Not even in Seattle, Chicago or Houston! Balderdash. Also, too many other errors on how on system doesn't work AND how it does! Bad info, knowingly long and absolutely ZERO common sense, but for sure: psychobabble galore!
Bren
“No matter how many times I was questioned by the police, it never got easier. My nerves jumped into high gear automatically. They always made me feel like I was lying, even when I was telling the truth.”
― Lucinda Berry, The Perfect Child

Oh wow. I have SO MUCH to say but I am sure you do not wan t to hear a long and extremely furious book tantrum from me so I will try to keep it short.

First..recommended. Even if I only gave it a three. This is one of the most disturbing books I have ever read.

T
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Natasha | readwithnatasha
WOW. What did I just read?!

Christopher and Hannah both work in the medical field and have the perfect marriage and lives, the only thing missing is a child. They've spent years trying to conceive, but Hannah's been diagnosed with an inhospitable uterus. But when a six-year-old girl, Janie, is found abandoned in a parking lot covered in bruises and blood and brought into the emergency room at their hospital, their lives begin to change. Christopher is the orthopedic surgeon assigned to fix some o
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Amelia Strydom
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"We'd like to think a mother and father's love can turn everything around, but there are times where parents do the very best they can, but the kid- even from the get-go - is just a bad kid ... Ignore the problem, and we could have blood on our hands." Adrian Raine, psychologist (University of Pennsylvania).
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...

After years of infertility, Christopher, an orthopaedic surgeon, and Hannah, a nurse, have given up on having a biological child. While they are lookin
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☠Kayla☠
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
TRIGGER WARNING: this book talks about child abuse. (that is not a spoiler because it talks about it very early on)

This book was so absolutely good but also disturbing! It didn't really give me the psychological thriller vibe though that I was expecting but was still very well worth the read! It had me so shocked and surprised and confused. I was constantly questioning what was going to happen next and how the situation was going to be handled.
This book is about Christopher and Hannah who are b
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Rick
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Man, this book really had an impact. On the plus side, it was gripping in a kind of "can't-turn-your-head-away-from-the-scene-of-an-accident" kind of way. I mean, I was really caught up...couldn't wait to find time to read and find out what's going to happen next, how's this going to turn out. The characters, although bordering on too stupid to live, engaged me and I cared about them. The demon child was the most evil kid I've ever seen, worse than THE BAD SEED. But then....that ending. Seriousl ...more
Darinda
Christopher and Hannah are a happy couple, but they long to have a child. When Janie, an abandoned six-year-old, shows up at the hospital where they work, Christopher wants to foster her. Despite the warnings about raising a child with an abusive past, they take her into their home and family. They are not prepared for the challenges they face.

Told with alternating points of view - Christopher, Hannah, and Piper, Janie's social worker. Christopher adores Janie and finds it difficult to believe s
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Isabel • The Crime Bookshelf
5 STARS.

Say hello to one of my new favorite psychological thrillers 😍 I loved this book SO much and I can’t believe it took me so long to read it. I usually don’t have very high expectations when it comes to psychological thrillers, but this one seriously blew me away! ⁣

What I loved most about this book was its ability to hook me right from the beginning. I read this book in just one sitting because of how compelling it was 🙌🏼 This book was so incredibly fast-paced that I just couldn’t put it
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Nichole
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This may contain spoilers, but this book left me with a lot of thoughts and feelings.

This sh*t was bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

I started reading it on my lunch break on Monday and finished it a few hours later. I could not put it down, because I just had to figure out what the heck was happening! The story is told from three points of view. Christopher and Hannah (our main characters) and the child protective services lady, Piper. Christopher's character is absolutely infuriating, it amazed me how v
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Diane
Feb 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christina McDonald
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Intense, terrifying and at times utterly horrifying, I loved this book and found it one of those cray-cray, intense reads that I just couldn't look away from.

Christopher and Hannah have a perfect life except one thing. They can't have a baby. But when a battered and abused child winds up in their ER, they fall in love with her and decide to adopt her. But Janie is not the child they were expecting. Lead down a rabbit hole of devious and frankly terrifying behavior, Hannah becomes increasingly t
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Reeda Booke
Christopher, the husband, has to be one of the dumbest persons on the planet.
A typical evil child wrecking havoc in a home. Although Janie was bad, it's Christopher I wanted to slap. Enough said.
Erin *Help I’m Reading and I Can’t Get Up*
So realistic, down to the dissatisfying ending. A must NOT read for anyone interested in adopting a child. Yoinks.
Cheyenne
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Check out my reviews at https://cheyennereads.home.blog !

This book was so stressful. Reading about Janie and her behavior had me on edge the entire time, I was worried about Christopher and especially Hannah throughout the book. Janie’s behavior was unpredictable and violent, and it was honestly scary. What do you do when you’re in danger but no one will believe you because she’s only a child?

I really enjoyed this
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Dr. Lucinda Berry is a former clinical psychologist and leading researcher in childhood trauma. Now, she spends her days writing full-time where she uses her clinical experience to blur the line between fiction and nonfiction. She enjoys taking her readers on a journey through the dark recesses of the human psyche.

If Berry isn’t chasing after her son, you can find her running through Los Angeles,
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November is the time for aspiring writers to get serious about writing that book! It's National Novel Writing Month, the annual event designed to...
46 likes · 12 comments
“Children of trauma are experts at triangulation.” “Triangulation?” I asked. “The child will act a certain way with one parent and a different way with the other parent. They try all kinds of things to drive a wedge in the parents’ relationship.” 7 likes
“No matter how many times I was questioned by the police, it never got easier. My nerves jumped into high gear automatically. They always made me feel like I was lying, even when I was telling the truth.” 3 likes
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