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The Perfect Son

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  89 ratings  ·  59 reviews
A disturbing and shocking debut novel of psychological suspense about a recently widowed mother, her young son, and the lengths she'll go to in order to keep him safe.

When Tess Clarke wakes up in the hospital the day after her son Jamie's eighth birthday, she's sure of these things: She's been stabbed, her son is missing, her brother-in-law and her grief counselor are inv
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Expected publication: August 13th 2019 by Berkley
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really liked it 4.00  · 
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 ·  89 ratings  ·  59 reviews

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Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tess is living a nightmare! Her husband Mark died suddenly and she just can’t pull herself out of her deep grief.

Tess is determined to keep everyone at bay. The more distance, the better. Just going to cocoon herself in her home with her son Jamie in hopes of starting the healing process.

Then, comes a knock on the door. Shelley is a grief counselor bringing with her a glimmer of hope. Maybe there really is a chance for recovery and new life. But soon Tess is pointing her fingers at everyone
Katie B
This was a worthwhile read for me although I would not say it is among the best in the psychological thriller/suspense genres. I happened to guess correctly early on as to which direction the author was going to go so that was slightly disappointing but the story as a whole was compelling and without a doubt worth my time.

A few months ago, Tess's husband, Mark, died and she has been struggling to keep things together for the sake of their son, Jamie. The day after Jamie's 8th birthday, Tess wake
Review in progress.

Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group and Goodreads Giveaways for the opportunity to win an advance reading copy (ARC) of The Perfect Son.

This title is for sale 8/13/19.
Theresa Alan
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The novel opens with Tess in the hospital. She’s been stabbed and her eight-year-old son is missing. Since her husband Mark died in a plane crash, Tess’s memory is full of holes. Maybe it’s from the depression or grief, or maybe it’s from the medicine she’s been prescribed to deal with the depression, or maybe something more sinister is afoot.

The story itself is a well-done thriller. It goes back in time from when her husband died to the days approaching her son’s birthday when she was stabbed a
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 rounded up

Tess Clarke wakes up in the hospital, one day after her son Jamie’s eighth birthday. She has been stabbed, her son is missing, and she thinks her brother-in-law, Ian, and her grief counselor, Shelley have had something to do with it.

Why won’t the Detective listen to her?

Perhaps it’s because 55 days ago, her husband was killed in an airplane crash-the one where the pilot chose to commit suicide by crashing the plane he was flying- and Tess has not been coping well?


Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a free e-copy of The Perfect son by Lauren North from NetGalley for my honest review.

Tess, a recent widow, wakes up in a hospital bed the day after her sons (Jamie) 8th birthday. She had been stabbed in her abdomen and her son, Jamie is missing. All Tess feels like she has to live for is her son, Jamie and now he is missing.

Tessa’s husband, Mark was killed in a plane crash months ago and she has been seeing a grief counselor, Shelley about it. Shelley has dealt with her own grief, as
Jasmine from How Useful It Is
I started reading The Perfect Son on 6/30/2019 and finished it on 7/6/2019. This book is an okay read. A slow start to the first 300 pages with readers not knowing much of what’s going on. There are little information trickling in and tensions here and there but not enough to know if it’s real or imagination. Reading and not knowing makes me anticipate for an explosive ending. The ending is okay. This book reminds me of The Woman in the Window. Both female main characters talk to their husbands ...more
Thank you, Berkley Books!
ARC received -- soooo happy!

This synopsis sounds absolutely like something I will enjoy.
The perfect summer psychological thriller!

Tracy Frenette
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways-won
The Perfect Son ~A story about grief from losing her husband in a plane crash. All she has left in life is her son Jamie. On Jamie's 8th birthday, Tess wakes up in the hospital. There are 4 things Tess is certain of
#1. I'm in the hospital
#2. I've been stabbed
#3. You're alive
#4. Jamie is missing
Will Tess be able to piece together what happened between Mark's death and Jamie's birthday. Can she uncover the truth before it's too late?
⭐⭐⭐⭐ I really enjoyed reading this ARC that I won in my BOTM c
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent debut thriller that will keep the reader guessing until the very end. Don't miss it!
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

"I cling to what I know. ONE—I’m in the hospital. I try to remember the rest, but it’s gone. How did I get here? How did it come to this?"

I was happy to find out that the author was a psychology student, and - especially when it comes to psychological thrillers - I love an author who has a deep knowledge of psychology and thrusts that into a compelling plot line that grips you all the way through, along with a well-crafted twist that'll make you shudder.

The Perfect Son starts with a bang - our p
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
There is nothing as powerful as a mother’s love - it’s unconditional, endless, bottomless, boundless, fearless. A mother who’s young is threatened can quickly turn into a savage when pushed to far and to hard. Yes friends, trust me when I say, a mother will do anything to ensure their child’s safety.

Tess, recently widowed, wakes up in a hospital. She only knows two things for sure. One, she has been stabbed and is in a hospital. Two, her son, Jamie is missing. Tess quickly realizes she must rac
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Wow! This was such a page turner. I read more than half of it in the first sitting. It reads very fast as the chapters are short and the author does an amazing job of putting you right inside the main character's head so it's almost like having an internal dialogue with yourself. The plot has a really good pace and always kept me wondering what was really going on, because as you read, you start to get the sense that something is maybe not right, but you just aren't quite sure what it is. It's d ...more
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book pulled me in pretty quickly, and led me exactly where it wanted me to go. I found it really interesting, loved the old house and the countryside setting, each character was well done. It was very clever how each piece was fit to create a seamless conclusion. That being said, I ended up being disappointed with how it all wrapped up. After the disclosure all I could think was I wanted one more twist and have my initial conclusion come true. However, it was really well written and would p ...more
Where is Jamie? Where is my son?

I won an ARC copy of The Perfect Son from the publisher, Berkeley, and the author, Lauren North. A huge thank you to them!

Trigger warning for depression, mental illness, and grief.

Tess wakes up in hospital a day after her son's birthday. She's only sure of three things : She's been stabbed, her son Jamie is missing, and her brother-in-law and her grief counselor are involved and against her. No one believes her though.

After her husband, Mark, died in a tragic acci
May 15, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Tess wakes up in a hospital with a stab wound and has no idea how she got there. She remembers that it happened on her son, Jamie's birthday and now she doesn't know where he is. Even worse, she remembers that her husband is dead, killed in a tragic plane crash several weeks prior.

The story takes the reader back to a little more than a month before Jamie's birthday and alternates between that time and the current time in the hospital, leading up to the actual birthday.

While I thought the premi
Kristy K
Jun 09, 2019 marked it as arc-tbr  ·  review of another edition
I received an advanced copy through Netgalley in return for an honest review.
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways, kindle
In the vein of Paula Hawkins & Clare MacIntosh, this was un-put-down-able 😮
You’ve got tragedy - treachery - gaslighting - and an unreliable narrator of the highest order.
Check out this debut novel when you get a chance.

Thanks to Penguin for an ARC of this book.
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A disturbing and shocking book of psychological suspense.

Out story begins with young Tessa Clarke a recent widow, waking up in a hospital bed the day after her son Jamie’s 8th birthday. She had been stabbed in her abdomen. But that’s not important to this young mother, what is, is that her son Jamie is missing, Tessa highly suspects grief counselor Shelley and estranged brother in law, Ian, of taking him from her. Shelley lost her young son, Dylan, to cancer and still has a consuming desire for
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways, own
The Perfect Son by Lauren North is a brilliant debut novel. It’s clever and twisty and at times absolutely heartbreaking. The main character, Tess, recently lost her husband in a plane crash and her grief was absolutely palpable. I think it takes a distinguished writer to make their readers feel such raw emotion for the characters in a book.

The novel begins with Tess waking up in the hospital with only a vague recollection of how she got there. She is sure of three things: she’s been stabbed, h
Liz Pollinger
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won this in a giveaway. It is the Perfect psychological thriller.
Tess wakes up in the hospital knowing only four things, she is in the hospital, she’s been stabbed, she’s alive and her son, Jamie, is missing.
Tess and her family have recently moved to her husband, Mark’s family home. Shortly thereafter he is killed in a plane crash. Tess fall into a deep depression. Her mother arranges a grief counselor, Shelly, for her. The quickly become fast friends. Enter Mark’s brother, Ian, who claims he
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This psychological suspense thriller is about a family in which the Father & Son are killed in a plane crash on the way to Frankfurt on an outing for the Father's work. Tess cannot deal with the loss of her husband and son and in the book retreats to talking to her husband in regular communication about what she perceives is happening in her mind and thus in her life. She is befriended by a grief counselor, Shelly who has lost a son the same as a Tess's son and looks the same as Jaimie with ...more
Michelle Kessler
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jazsmine Armstrong
I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. The main character was a bit difficult to feel true compassion for. While I understood her grief, at times her anguish teased the line of her being egocentric and I found myself more annoyed with her than being empathetic.

I appreciate the author's precision with her wording and, other than the transcripts, each interaction felt meaningful and you knew it would all play into the grand scheme of things.

With that being said, the lasts 40 pages or s
Cristine (cristinethebookqueen) Paquette
Thank you to goodreads and Berkeley Publishing for this advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

I think I could have read this book in one sitting if it weren't for work and responsibilities getting in the way!

When Tess looses her husband in an airplane accident, she struggles to get her life back together for their son, Jamie. But when Jamie goes missing on his birthday and Tess is lying in a hospital bed, things get even harder.

Lauren North is off to an incredible start to her mystery/
Pat Doucett
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
WOW - This certainly is a psychological thriller. It had me completely bamboozled - I was not expecting the ending. I have to give it to Author Lauren North since this is her first novel. It definitely held my interest. I can usually figure out the endings but this one had me going until the last page and I would definitely recommend it if you like a book loaded with suspense. The mother had my sympathy through the whole book but eventually she had to have help and she just wouldn't allow it. My ...more
This book is very well written and I completely missed the reveal, which is rare for me, but this novel is very slow and depressing. The novel opens with Tess in the hospital following a stabbing and then backtracks to show us Tess before the events that put her in the hospital. As a recent widow she is obviously consumed by grief but unfortunately that puts the reader in a never ending view of her grief and her life falling apart. As things start to happen she wonders who she can trust and star ...more
Jenn Van
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tess is certain of four things when she wakes up in a hospital:
1) she’s in the hospital
2) she’s been stabbed
3) she’s alive
4) Jamie, her son, is missing.
The entire time I was reading this book I had thought I discovered the ending or different sorts of ending so many times. But I didn’t. I absolutely never saw the ending/big twist coming. It was beautifully written. The plot had a great pace and kept me hooked. I enjoyed the narrator of Tess. I felt so sad for this woman and found myself close
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*ARC provided in exchange for honest review.* In The Perfect Son, alternating timelines tell the story of Tess trying to move on with her life after the shocking and unexpected death of her husband. In the main timeline, Tess wakes up in the hospital after her son's 8th birthday party. You're not sure what has happened, and she isn't either. In flashbacks, you are told about events the weeks leading up to the party as Tess tries to unravel the mysteries her husband left behind and why mysterious ...more
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Lauren writes psychological suspense novels that delve into the darker side of relationships and families. She has a lifelong passion for writing, reading, and all things books. Lauren’s love of psychological suspense has grown since childhood and her dark imagination of always wondering what’s the worst thing that could happen in every situation.

Lauren studied psychology before moving to London