Book Review

THE PERFECT DAUGHTER by D.J. Palmer (Out 4/20/2021)

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the gifted ARC of THE PERFECT DAUGHTER by D.J. Palmer!

Publication Date: 4/20/2021

Rating: 4.5 / 5

THE PERFECT DAUGHTER takes a look at the diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), more commonly known as Multiple Personality Disorder. When Grace found four year old Penny abandoned in the park, she immediately saw in her the daughter she always wanted. As soon as she can arrange it, Penny joins Grace and her husband and two sons.

In the present day Grace opens the door to police officers who report that her teenage daughter has been arrested for murder. Penny was found covered in blood at the scene, so her guilt isn’t much of a question. Problem is, Penny has been dealing with DID for most of her life, so which of her very distinct personalities committed the crime? Or, as some believe, is Penny just lying? Penny (or Eve as she’s currently presenting) is committed to a state psychiatric hospital for further evaluation.

Working in the field of mental health myself, this book had me absolutely intrigued and it definitely lived up to my expectations for a twisty read! We are getting multiple perspectives going back and forth in time to flesh out Penny’s story. This included her time with her family when they were first starting to recognize Penny’s personality and voice shifts as something more than quirks to her time in the mental hospital with her new doctor trying to determine her true diagnosis and engage her alters and her memories to find out the truth of what really happened before Penny goes to trial. The author really did well at giving Penny’s alters distinctly different characteristics while still leaving room for the reader to doubt whether Penny was accurately diagnosed or whether she’s manipulating everyone.

One of the perspectives we’re getting is from one of Penny’s brother as he’s working on a film project about his sister’s case. This is written in second person perspective and for me it felt a little unneeded and it tended to take me out of the narrative a bit with the sudden shift to second person. It didn’t overall detract from the book however.

This one ends with some big twists and the author did a fantastic job of springing some surprises on me that I didn’t see coming until the final moments. I really enjoyed this one and would recommend it for the thriller fans!

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