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Her Perfect Family Kindle Edition
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?
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“Intriguing. Different. I raced through it beyond my usual ‘lights-out’ time. You simply HAVE to read to the end to find out what happens.” —Jane Corry, Sunday Times bestselling author
“Her Perfect Family is a thrilling ride, a finely-crafted mystery that begins with a terrible act of violence, a mother’s worst nightmare. I was gripped from the first page…I loved it!” —Melanie Golding, bestselling author of Little Darlings
From the Publisher
Can you imagine watching your daughter get shot on what is supposed to be her proudest day? Gemma Hartley is graduating from university. Rachel and Ed Hartley are in attendance and prepared for a day full of hope and glittering futures. Until their perfect moment turns into a nightmare. With a detective on the scene and a heart-wrenching mystery to uncover, PI Matthew Hill realizes that even the most perfect of families have secrets to hide...
In this fast-paced thriller Teresa Driscoll takes you on a breathtaking ride as time ticks away with Gemma’s life hanging the balance. Can the killer be brought to justice before they strike again, or will this perfect day become the Hartleys’ perfect nightmare?
—Victoria Oundjian, Editor
- ASIN : B08N5YFL78
- Publisher : Thomas & Mercer (November 1, 2021)
- Publication date : November 1, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 4275 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 330 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #73 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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Unfortunately for me, the story combines two writing techniques I hate - multiple POVs and flashbacks. Every chapter is written from a different POV, and a lot of these are set before the ongoing events. It's impossible to get a good story flow going with this style - something exciting happens, I'm anxious to know more, then I'm suddenly thrown back into the past with a different character. Not a good way to keep me engaged in the story.
To be fair, there's a few positives here - no profanity, no major editing issues, and a killer I couldn't predict. Sadly the writing style, bland characters, and family drama drown the good qualities out. Can't recommend.
This story is told from multiple perspectives, as chapters switch between the the points of view of the daughter Gemma, her mother Rachel, her father Ed, and PI Matthew Hill. All of the chapters are written in the third person except for the mother Rachel, whose chapters are written in the first person. This difference makes the book feel like it is centered on the mother and daughter, and the connection that they share. There are also some chapters that jump back to a different time period, like Gemma's writings from before she was shot.
Gemma is shot during her graduation in the first chapter, and she remains in a coma as the other characters need to unravel the mystery of who the attempted murderer is, and what their motivation might be. Along the way we learn about some secrets that certain family members have kept from others, and the mystery deepens as characters start to wonder if these old secrets are connected to the current attack on Gemma. There are some red herrings, and suspicious actions from multiple characters, before the mystery is solved. The story is wrapped up with a fairly satisfying, if somewhat unlikely seeming explanation. The lose ends are tied up, and the motivations are explained.
Overall I liked this book. The author does a good job of gradually revealing the plot as the story is told from different perspectives, and the first person perspective of Rachel really connects the reader to that character. The pacing was good, as there was constantly enough action or plot twists to keep me interested in what was going to happen next. The ultimate resolution and explanation seemed to me to be a bit unrealistic, but at least it was unexpected. So I wouldn't say that this is perfect, but generally a pretty solid psychological thriller.
Who shot her? And Why? Why would anyone shoot a young university student? And why in such a public setting?
These are the questions that keep us turning the pages of this well-written mystery told from multiple characters’ points of view. Each character has a connection to the victim, be it personal or professional. Each character has their own particular challenge to face, whether it be a past secret or a present adversary. All the characters are likable and interesting. Each offers a possible solution to the mystery, which is what keeps us guessing and enjoying.
Theresa Driscoll is a British author. Her book is written in British voices using British vernacular. I had absolutely no trouble understanding any of it and thought the vernacular added to, rather than detracted from, the novel’s enjoyability. In addition, the writing is taut and crisp and well maintains tension throughout the story.
All in all a very solid entertainment.
Top reviews from other countries
This fast-paced thriller is the first novel I have read by Teresa Driscoll, but I have a strong feeling that it won't be the last. There is no slow burn to this novel as in the opening pages the reader witnesses a shocking shooting amid the pomp and ceremony of a university graduation in the local cathedral. Pandemonium ensues and we are launched into an oftentimes breathtaking mystery thriller that seldom lets up until the final page.
The action predominantly takes place in the present time, but the author also makes use of regular flashbacks to earlier points in the lives of the key protagonists. The narrative is also delivered from the individual viewpoints of each of these key players. This can be a great literary mechanic when it is executed well and Teresa Driscoll makes a very effective job of giving each character a distinct and authentic voice.
The central mystery relates to the identity of the person who carried out the shooting at the cathedral. There is plenty of well-handled misdirection, though seasoned readers of the genre may well work out the doer of the deed well before the end of the novel. Not that it really matters if you do, because there is not only much to admire about the way the story is drafted, but there are also plenty of subthemes that make this a worthwhile and enjoyable read. Yes, it is first and foremost an exciting suspense thriller with a dark premise, but it is also quite emotional at times and raises issues which may well prompt some inner reflection.
A good read and easy to recommend.
Rachel and Ed Hartley are attending their daughter Gemma's graduation ceremony when she falls to the ground at the crucial moment. Despite the event taking place in a crowded Cathedral it turns out that Gemma has been shot and there's pandemonium as the crowd panic.
Luckily Private Investigator Matthew Hill ,a former policeman, is passing and uses his skills to clear the exits and secure the safety of those left inside as the shooter is still on the loose.
Hill's former colleague, D.L. Melanie Sanders is put in charge of the case and gets him employed by the police to help out.
With Gemma in a coma the race is on to discover who shot her and why with things being made more complicated by the secrets the whole family have been keeping from each other.
The story is told from several viewpoints and there are plenty of twists and turns to keep things interesting. I did guess the "perp" quite early on but then I spend far too much of my time reading thrillers and am an old hand at playing "guess the villain".
I've read most of Teresa Driscoll's books, her books are a fairly light read that require a pinch of salt now again but are always entertaining....not least this one.
If you've not read any of Teresa's books yet and you're a fan of Val McDermid ,Belinda Bauer, Nikki French, Denise Mina and similar authors give this one a try,and I suspect you'll become a fan.
Driscoll has structured this narrative so that it shifts to different characters: Gemma, the parents and Matthew. This made for an interesting story because you get so many varied perspectives. In addition, some of the narrative is before the accident, giving readers a greater understanding of Gemma's past, along with her parents too.
It's certainly a tragedy, watching Gemma's parents remain by the daughter's bedside, waiting for her to wake up from a coma. At the same time, I was fascinated by all the secrets that are gradually revealed; no one in the family is exempt from deception. The way we learn about Gemma's past is through essay titles that disguise her confessions, like a diary, and I found these most interesting. These snapshots provide subtle clues about the present circumstances and I loved being able to piece it all together.
I knew this was going to be a great read from the beginning and, even though I guessed how some of the story would conclude, I enjoyed the buzz as the plot reached its climax. It is a race against time as police fear the attacker will strike again, versus the faint hope that Gemma may wake up from her coma. Driscoll cleverly reflects the adrenalin of the action onto the readers of the book and I really got caught up in the exciting chase for answers.
This was another thrilling read from Driscoll that had me on the edge of my seat. I could not put the book down and the short chapters meant that I flew through this faster than I expected. I have read a book by this author before and was not disappointed. Reading this newest release makes me even more determined to check out Driscoll's other books in the future.
The majority of the characters are lacklustre and unremarkable; the storyline, itself, included too many convenient ‘red herrings’ which led to an annoying perpetrator- which actually made me cross because it was absurd, considering the background information given in the finale.
Obviously other readers have highly praised the book but I can’t- it’s too weak.