Published: November 2014
This was such a gem! I stumbled across this by chance on Netgalley and requested it on a whim. I'm so glad I did . The past few books I've read have been mediocre so this was a breath of fresh air.
The perfect mother is a work of fiction but is very reminiscent of the Amanda Knox case.
Jennifer gets a late night phone call from her daughter. When your a parent late night phone calls always set alarm bells ringing. When your child is in a different country it's 10 times worse. Her daughter Emma has been arrested following the murder of a much loved Spanish teenager whom she accuses of trying to sexually assault her.
Emma expects to bailed out by her mother because thats the way its always been. If Emma has a problem mommy comes to the rescue and offers excuses or gentle persuasion so things swing in her daughters favor. Jennifer is the perfect mother. The mother all the other teenagers look up too and feel they can share their problems with.
This resulted in what seems to be an utterly detestable spoiled teenager. I really just wanted to slap Emma and yell "start telling the truth girly or face life behind bars"! I love it when an author is talented enough to provoke such a reaction in me though! When the media get wind of the case the run with the promiscuous American angle. The whole country is baying for her blood as nothing she says seems to add up and Her sole focus is to protect her vigilante boyfriend Paco. I thought it was very interesting that Paco was such a strong character even though he didn't have a voice in this book.
Jennifer's character is the only one that shined for me. I hated Emma and her fathers attitude to the whole event was so blasé that it was almost unbelievable.
I have to say that the pacing was perfect. I raced through this and found it extremely hard to put down. I changed my mind about Emma several times during the book and was compelled to keep going at the end of every chapter.
The ending was entirely surprising giving Emma's actions throughout the story but it still left my mouth hanging open. I would have loved just one or two more pages!
If you like crime fiction but are looking for something a little lighter than usual then I'd highly recommend The Perfect Mother. It's a highly engaging, emotionally driven read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆