The Perfect Child – Lucinda Berry

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 instant connection with her, and he convinces Hannah they should take her home as their own.

But Janie is no ordinary child, and her damaged psyche proves to be more than her new parents were expecting. Janie is fiercely devoted to Christopher, but she acts out in increasingly disturbing ways, directing all her rage at Hannah. Unable to bond with Janie, Hannah is drowning under the pressure, and Christopher refuses to see Janie’s true nature.

Hannah knows that Janie is manipulating Christopher and isolating him from her, despite Hannah’s attempts to bring them all together. But as Janie’s behavior threatens to tear Christopher and Hannah apart, the truth behind Janie’s past may be enough to push them all over the edge.

About the Author:

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, prepping for her next marathon.

My Review:

I was looking for books featuring spooky children and bat-Sh*t crazy psychopaths and The Perfect Child popped up on my radar, so I downloaded it and began to read.

The Perfect Child is a really dark and disturbing story of a happily married professional couple, Christopher and Hannah unable to have a child of their own.  Both working in the same hospital as an orthopaedic surgeon and a nurse when a toddler is brought into the emergency room, covered in blood and with obvious signs of abuse and neglect.  Christopher becomes utterly obsessed by this little girl and when the opportunity to foster her comes up he takes it without any reservations.  Hannah, however, is less enthusiastic and slightly wary especially as the child begins to display worrying behaviour.

The main narrators are Piper, the social worker assigned to the child’s case and both parents Christopher and Hannah and each chapter delves deeper into the story line gradually unveiling a very disturbing and dark tale.  It is obvious from the opening chapter that something terrible has happened, but the reader can only guess (incorrectly like I did) as the story unfolds.

This is a truly uncomfortable and exceptionally DARK story into a trouble little girl and the patience and unconditional love her parents display whilst trying to sustain their marriage and sanity.  There is no double that many readers will find the topics uncomfortable but I absolutely ADORED it and raced through this book in the space of a couple of hours.  A very easy 5 stars from me and as this is the first book I’ve read by Lucinda Berry I am off to download her entire back catalogue.

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