Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Perfect Family” as Want to Read:
The Perfect Family
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Perfect Family

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  8,322 ratings  ·  593 reviews
‘Mummy, she’s gone…’

Gemma Ballantine is getting ready for work one morning when her eldest child comes running down the stairs, saying the words every mother dreads.

The front door is open. And her six-year-old daughter has disappeared. Frantic with fear, Gemma starts a nail-biting search for her little girl.

After what feels like forever, her mother-in-law Diane finds
Kindle Edition, 284 pages
Published November 6th 2018 by Bookouture
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Perfect Family, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
María Clara
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,322 ratings  ·  593 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Perfect Family
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Wow! Wow! This was one fabulously twisted psychological thriller!

Shalini Boland Has a way with taking the ordinary and turning it on its head... this was a well-crafted psychological thriller that completely sucked me in from the very first page! A book about the “perfect“ family finding themselves on one crazy twisted ride!

The book starts out with Gemma frantically searching for her youngest daughter Katie... katie is soon found wandering down the street by her grandmother and Gemma’s moth
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Yep, she’s done it again folks! The Perfect Family by Shalini Boland is yet another page turning psychological thriller that may lull you into sense of familiarity only to completely change the game.

Gemma Ballantine is a busy working mother of two little girls that keep her on her toes. She and her husband do pretty well sharing the responsibilities of home but it always feels as if there’s something more to be done. When on another rushed morning Gemma looks everywhere for her youngest but she’
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 Stars

The story is about a mother of two girls. She has her own business and that takes most of her time and she can’t take care of the girls as much as she wants and her husband can’t help her much either! One day when she wakes up, there are some incidents that make her think she’s not really a good mother. So she makes a decision but what if her decision makes everything worse and her perfect family starts to fall apart?!?

This was my first read by this author and it won’t my last since I hav
Louise Wilson
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gemma and Robert Ballantine have busy work schedules. He is a personnel trainer while she owns her own business. While Gemma is getting ready for work one morning, her eldest daughter tells her that her little sister, Eva, is missing. Gemma discovers the front door is open and frantically searches outside. Luckily, after a few minutes, Eva appears with her grandmother, Diane. But things just go from bad to worse after this. Diane talks them into getting a live-in nanny/tutor for the girls and re ...more
Gemma Ballantine seems to have it all - the perfect husband who loves her, two lively little girls, her own home and a successful business. But lately she's been feeling stretched trying to make time for her family and her work. When her youngest daughter is found wandering the streets before school and her older daughter is suspended from school, she gives in and hires a live-in nanny who can look after getting the girls to school and help out with their homework. The nanny looks quite plain an ...more
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received a free e-copy of The Perfect Family by Shalini Boland from NetGalley for my honest review.

This is the first book I have read by Shalini Boland but it will not be the last. From the first chapter of this book, I was hooked. A fantastic psychological thriller with great characters.

Gemma, has the perfect life. The perfect husband and two wonderful children. She has beautiful home, a brilliant job, life couldn't be more amazing. Then a series of events happen to Gemma that makes her life
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoy the writing of Author Shalini Boland, she is one of those writers that grab your attention early on and then keep cranking up the tension to the very end. I found this book an absorbing quick read, especially when you decide to stay up all night until you finish it. I just couldn't put it down.
Gemma Ballantine is the mother of a perfect family, but when her life starts falling apart she turns to a live in nanny named Sadie to help but this just seems to make things worse.
I don't w
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I always enjoy reading Shalini Boland's books and was delighted to receive a copy of her new book The Perfect Family. I really enjoyed this book, I could not put it down and read it in one day.
Gemma is a working mother with two young daughters. She is finding it difficult to juggle working with looking after her home and family. Her husband and mother in law suggest a nanny and against her better judgement she agrees.
Sadie the nanny arrives to help with the children and housework and soon becom
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley
Shalini Boland delivers again! I read this book in a day, dreading what was going to happen next. The story was addictive and I just had to keep reading. I could sympathise with the main character and her life as I am sure a lot of us could. The author had us seeing what she wanted us to without working out what was really going on which I loved!

Gemma is a self employed working mother. Her and her husband are struggling to keep up with work and being good parents to their 2 daughters. The eldest
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Perfect Family is another enjoyable and well-plotted mystery by Shalini Boland, I'm happy to report. The pace is quick and the plot engaging from start to finish. I always like Boland's books because she is good at writing characters who seem real, and she did so again here. Gemma's life, which appears quite perfect to begin with, starts slowly to unravel and she is forced to confront who around her would wish her any harm. I thought Gemma was an interesting, likable character and I could fe ...more
Melissa In The City
ALL the stars!!! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
A super crazy page turner psycho party! I finished this in less than a day because It had my heart pounding with all its WTF moments!
I just love Shalini Boland’s writing. She has a way with writing that pulls you in and sets you right smack dab in the middle of the plot where you literally feel your palms sweating and heart racing along with the characters. I’ve read a lot of her books and she never disappoints and #ThePerfectFamily is a 5 star winner! Grippi
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
To the outside world, Gemma has it all. The gorgeous, fit husband, two adorable daughters and a booming career. But Gemma is quickly becoming overwhelmed by her overly busy life. It starts when like any morning, Gemma is preparing to take Eva and Katie to school, but before leaving, she realizes Katie is nowhere to be found. Luckily, Katie’s found, but Gemma is rattled to her core. Then, Gemma’s car is vandalized, playing on her deepest insecurity. And to top the day off, Eva’s teacher reveals t ...more
Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Gemma Ballantine appears to have a picture perfect life. She is a successful business owner, married to her wonderful handsome husband Robert. Together they have two little girls, Eva and Katie. What more could you ask for? Except Gemma seems to be burning the candle at both ends and can't seem to keep up the pace any longer.

Slowly things begin to fall apart making her question her ability to meet the needs of her family. Her 6 year old Katie is found wandering the streets, Gemma often misses s
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I somehow had a feeling that this book by author Shalini Boland was going to be a fabulous read. I hadn't liked her previous 2 books. And my intuition proved correct. This was one heck of a ride!!

The story started with an absolute heart stopping bang - little Katie was missing with mother Gemma and elder daughter Eva frantically searching for her. I thought that would be the beginning of a missing child arc. But nooooo... That was a feint by Ms. Boland. And story went on to become so much deeper
2.5 stars. This was a perfectly adequate psychological thriller, and a mildly entertaining way to spend an evening, but not much more than that. Nothing was particularly surprising if you've read any other books in the genre. This was the second book I've read by Shalini Boland and I don't think I'll be seeking out anymore. Not only were both relatively predictable, but her books are very motherhood-centered, which is just not my thing. This one was okay, but I can't really recommend it when the ...more
Robin Loves Reading
Please see all of my reviews on my blog at

Gemma Ballantine’s car was defaced with the words “bad mother” Her daughter is suspended from school. Her house key doesn’t work. If only those were the worst things Gemma was dealing with, then maybe she could have worked things out. But, no, it was much, much more. How did it all begin?

Gemma’s six-year-old daughter Katie has seemingly disappeared into thin air. This happens just before Gemma was to take Katie and her sister E
Julie (JuJu)
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Boy...this book had me glued from the first page! A mother is frantically searching for her missing daughter! All the thoughts going through her mind are so she just hiding, do I call my husband, should I call the police?

Gemma is a stressed-out mother who is torn between her career and guilt over not spending enough time with her family. As she’s preparing to head out with her two girls, she realizes the youngest isn’t in the house. Thankfully, Katie is found quickly and unharmed. Afte
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was another excellent book by Shalini Boland. I’ve read most of her books now and they’ve all been amazing. This was full of twists and turns that definitely shocked me. You think one thing and then another twist comes which makes the story even better. I really felt bad for Gemma throughout the book. She was trying her best for her family but people were out to get her and I felt awful for her when Robert took the kids away from her. It must have been heartbreaking to be away from her kids ...more
Jill McGill
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow... Shalini Boland has done it again by giving us another fabulous psychological thriller. Boland definitely has a way of drawing you in to her stories - once you are in you can't let go.

Gemma Ballantine seems to have the perfect life - a successful business, the perfect husband, two beautiful girls, and the perfect dream home. What more could she ask for?

But soon her perfect life starts to fall apart. Her youngest daughter, Katie, disappears. Gemma starts a frantic search for her little gi
• Jodi Bibliophile •
LOVED, LOVED, LOVED IT!! One of Shalini Boland's best books to date.

This is my 4th book by this author so I've come to know that the big twist isn't what you think and you end up getting a few shockers along the way. So, although I had my theories, I was still left shocked and giddy AF at the outcome. I just love this authors mind.

It's a bloody great twisty read that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Adele Shea
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you want a book that you can not put down, then look no further.
When the Ballantine family feel like passing ships in the night and work and personal life becomes to much to juggle, Gemma decides the best thing for the whole family would be to hire a nanny.
When Sadie is offered the job as the Ballantines, she sees it as the perfect opportunity to get what she wants and does not care who steps in the way. She is there to do a job and that is what she will do.
Nov 03, 2018 added it
Don't let this nanny into your house!

It seems that everyone is using the word "twist" to describe a psychological thriller and domestic drama these days, but here is one that really fits. I was completely unable to put it down as I raced through the pages. The tension ratcheted up with almost every chapter and, even though I thought I KNEW where this one was going, I was wrong!

Gemma is a busy wife and mother. With her own business, a facilities management firm, requiring much of her attention an
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley
Gemma, a busy working mom of two little girls along with her husband Robert are trying to balance work and family life but always fall short. After a few mishaps Genna finally gives into her mother-in-law’s suggestion of hiring a nanny for the kids. At first everything seems to work out great but when strange events seem to happen Gemma soon realizes things might not be so perfect in her perfect family after all.

The Perfect Family is a fast addictive psychological thriller by Shalini Boland wit
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gemma Ballantine is a businesswoman, who is trying to do too much and she is spreading herself too thinly. She is trying to be a successful businesswoman, who is trying to be a good wife and she is also trying to be a fantastic mother. It’s not surprising that something has got to give. At the beginning of the book she faces everybody’s worst nightmare when one of her children disappears and leaves behind no indication as to where she has gone. On this occasion the little girl is found and retur ...more
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
O...M...G The queen of killer twists has done it again!!!!

Gemma is a character who represents a lot of women. A working mother who is constantly juggling work and family life. I think many of us can relate to her. The fact that she is the main bread winner puts added pressure on her and when the chance of a live in nanny comes up, Gemma thinks it's the answer that will solve all their prayers. 

It's really hard to say to much about the story without spoiling it for others. I did think it was goin
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the second book I have enjoyed by this author! Her twists can be shocking and the endings are fantastic! Recommended for an easy read that is highly entertaining. 4.5 stars
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't stop reading this thriller. ...more
Kat Dietrich
The Perfect Family by Shalini Boland is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Bookouture, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

My Synopsis:
To all appearances, Gemma Ballantine has the perfect life. She runs her own company. Her handsome husband also has his own business. Their two children, 6-year old Katie, and 10-year old Eva are happy and adjusted. Maybe their house is a l
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Review can be found on my blog here: https://booksonthebookshelf.wordpress...

The Perfect Family was the first book I have read by Shalini Boland and what a fabulous psychological thriller! I loved reading all the twists and turns in the book and it keeps you hooked. You will find yourself flipping through the pages and not wanting to put this book down. There is so much going on you just want to know what will happen next.

Gemma is married with two young girls and is struggling with balancing a f
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Hey, its no secret that I am a fan of this author, she writes brilliant psychological thriller’s, thats not in question, BUT this time she has surpassed herself with what I think is her best yet
Gemma has her own business, loving hubby and 2 girls, PERFECT.....but she cant do everything in 24 hours...enter Sadie a nanny/tutor who enters their house and brings a whirlwind of chaos...but who is she? How has she ‘landed’ seemingly just at the right time in their lives and what is she really doing th
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Closer
  • Love You Gone
  • Little Whispers
  • Our Little Lies
  • Finding Grace
  • Single
  • The Night Away
  • The Liar's Wife
  • The Girl She Wanted
  • The Accident
  • The Woman Next Door
  • The Silent Ones
  • The Secret
  • The Couple on Cedar Close (Detective Dan Riley, #2)
  • The Man She Married
  • Unfaithful
  • The Stepdaughter
  • The Visitor
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Hello :) I write suspense thrillers and dark adventures, and I live in Dorset, England with my husband, two children and our dog. I only write reviews for books I enjoy!

*** Be the first to hear about my NEW THRILLER RELEASES here: ***

*** Join up to get FREE eBOOK DEALS here: ***

Now available:
THE BEST FRIEND - a chilling psychological thriller

News & Interviews

At Goodreads, we love reading (shocker, I know). There's just nothing like curling up on the couch with a cup of coffee or tea and burying...
28 likes · 6 comments
“Everyone laughs, even Diane. But my own” 0 likes
More quotes…