Cover Image: The Perfect Daughter

The Perfect Daughter

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Member Reviews

Wow, what a book!  This is what I want to see in my mysteries; the writing providing suspense, chills, thrills, twists and turns, shocks, and tension, and Souza did this in THE PERFECT DAUGHTER.  It’s one of those that will have you wondering what the heck is going on and why and who, and much more, and you WILL NOT find out until the author wants you to!  Not many are able to provide this anymore, but Souza does!  Unputdownable, intense, and perfect for those thrill lovers!  Highly, highly recommend!
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This one kept me guessing until the very end. I loved the character development and the way the chapters alternate characters.  The twists and turns really kept me guessing.  Was pretty surprised that it kept me that interested honestly  because  it’s a crazy time and this gave me a great escape.
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I liked the premise of this book, but the ending was just so implausible and stupid.  Mystery/thrillers are my favorite genres, but the twist at the end of this book made no sense.
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Isla is a hairdresser in Shepherd's Bay. She has lived there her whole life. It's the small town, where everyone knows you. A place where you can raise good kids.
Lately the town has changed. Wealthy family's are moving in. They're buying up the land and making big mansions. 
The town is now divided by the haves and the have nots.
Isla is not happy when her daughter takes up with Willow. Willow is from the rich side of town. She is wild and unruly. Her mother was once an actress, her father a film producer. Once her daughter joins that group of kids she starts to change. Even her little brother, Raisin can tell the difference. Isla works hard long hours everyday. Her husband should help with their child but he is seldom home. This causes things to start happening that Isla is not aware of.
When a boy goes missing from their town there is great concern. Even though investigations and searches 
Have be done he has not been found.
Then Willow and Elsa's daughter disappear. Something evil is happening in Shepherd's Bay!
I was totally engrossed and engaged in this book from the beginning. Excellent read!
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This book is a wild ride!  Missing kids, drugs, murder, and sex all tied into one twisted story.

Isla is basically a single mom trying to provide for her kids emotionally and financially.  While she is married to Ray, he's not worth much of anything!  Her youngest child, Raisin/Ray, is a diabetic and always has to have his service dog Scout with him.  Katie is a good student, good daughter, and never gets in trouble until she falls into step with newcomer Willow. I did not like Willow from the get go.  So when both girls disappear, you just have this feeling that it has something to do with Willow.

I loved the mystery aspect of this book and the different points of views from Isla to the local sheriff who is also Isla's high school boyfriend Karl.  I will tell you right now that Katie is found, but she can't remember anything.   However as we get further into the book bits and pieces start coming back about the details leading up to the night.

Is this one on your radar?  You won't believe the ending! I never saw it coming!

This one is available now!
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The Perfect Daughter by Joseph Souza is a recommended mystery set in Shepherd’s Bay, Maine.

High school juniors Katie Eaves and her friend Willow Briggs fail to come home after a night out. When Katie still doesn't come home and Willow's parents haven't seen the girls, Katie's mother Isla is very worried, especially since another teen is still missing after several months. Isla contacts officer Karl Bjornson and search parties are organized. When Katie is found battered and with no memory of what happened. Isla is thankful her daughter is okay, but hopeful that she will remember something to help her friend Willow.

A huge division is already present in the town where long-time residents are resentful of the affluent newcomers who have bought up all the waterfront property, and, well, puttin' on airs because of their wealth. Katie is a townie, her mother is a hairdresser and her father is a loser/entrepreneur/mostly absent. Willow's family are wealthy transplants from L.A.. Rumors are swirling now about the wild parties held at the Briggs' house. Katie still doesn't remember anything and Isla already has her hands full with her son, husband, and father.

The story is told through multiple points-of-view, with each chapter narrated by Isla, Karl, or Katie. The characters are well developed, although not entirely believable as real people. Isla's plate is full with her family and job, but I was more than annoyed with her obsequious behavior toward the wealth newcomers because they brought her in some new business. I would think you could be polite and courteous to all of your clients rather than setting one group aside as more important based on their income. Additionally Katie didn't come across as a junior in high school in her inner dialogue. Included in the narrative is plenty of information about Isla's and Karl's past. 

The novel does have plenty of secrets, but it moves along quickly. The question of who-dun-it is not a huge nail biter since they can likely be pointed out by many readers almost right away. This is a novel to sit down and read quickly in one sitting just to past the time. It's interesting enough to pass the time but ultimately will be forgettable to many readers. Those with a tie to Maine and the coastal areas being developed by wealthy outsiders might find more to relate to. Another 3.5 rounded down.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Kensington.
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After publication the review will be posted on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
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This was a quick read that I just couldn’t put down! I found myself lost in this small Maine lobstering town, dreaming of living there, but also surely glad that I don’t. This book is full of twists and turns and will definitely keep you guessing until the very end. I love how all of these different characters tied into each other’s stories, and made for a web of crazy. This was my first Joseph Souza books, but definitely won’t be my last.

Thanks to Netgalley and Kensington Books for the arc of this book in return for my honest opinion.
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3.5 stars.

  The Perfect Daughter by Joseph Souza is an intriguing mystery.

  Isla Eaves once thought she would escape her small town of Shepherd’s Bay, ME. But she returned home without finishing her college degree, and later married high school basketball star Ray. Now parents to high school junior Katie and eleven year old Raison, Isla is frustrated by Ray’s inability to support their family. She keeps the family financially afloat through her beauty salon where she counts on the wealthy newcomers to pay top dollar for their haircuts.  Adding to her stress is the addition of her Alzheimer stricken father to their household.

  With so much going on at home, Isla is mildly concerned when Katie fails to return home from a party she attended with best friend, Willow Briggs.  Her concern turns to fear when Isla discovers her daughter is not at any of her friends’ houses and that Willow’s parents have not seen the teenagers either.   A couple of days later, Katie returns and suffering from a serious head injury, she cannot provide any information about what happened to her or where Willow might be.  Will her memory return in time to save Willow?

  Isla is unhappy in her marriage but she cannot bring herself to separate from Ray.  She cannot count on him to provide financial or emotional support but she does not want to break up her family.  Always close to her children, Isla is troubled that Katie begins to pull away , after becoming friends with Willow. She knows her daughter is keeping secrets yet Isla implicitly trusts her daughter. However, after she goes missing, she discovers that she knows very little about Katie’s life outside their home. Could her new friendship with Willow be the reason for whatever happened to the young women?

  Katie is fascinated by Willow from the first time she sees the newcomer. A transplant from Los Angeles, her new friend is everything Katie is not. Willow is beautiful, graceful, talented and her parents are quite wealthy. The teenagers are often unsupervised at the Briggs’ home and their evenings together are nowhere near as innocent as she portrays to her mom. Growing increasingly uneasy with Willow and her wealthy friends, will Katie be able to revert back to the life she had before befriending Willow?

  Local police officer (and Isla’s former high school boyfriend) Karl Bjornson is quite worried about the missing teenagers.  He is working on the still unsolved disappearance of Dakota James, the son of a well to do single mom. Without any leads in Dakota’s case, Karl cannot help but wonder whether there is a connection between the disappearances. Lacking experience in these types of investigations, Karl continues pressing Katie for new information that will hopefully lead to finding Willow.  But will Katie reveal any new details about the night the girls went missing?

  The Perfect Daughter is an engaging mystery with an interesting storyline.  The coastal setting is the perfect backdrop for the inevitable conflict between the financially struggling townspeople and the wealthy transplants.  The characters are three-dimensional with fascinating back stories. The investigation into what happened to Dakota, Katie and Willow is engrossing but a little slow moving. The plot is well-developed but the writing is occasionally a little stilted and some of the phrasing is slightly awkward. Although a bit predictable, Joseph Souza brings the mystery to a twist-filled conclusion.
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The Perfect Daughter by Joseph Souza takes place on the coast of Maine.  It is a lobstering town that has struggled with the health of the town moving forward.  It uses the issue of newcomers coming in and buying up all sorts of land and then locking it off to the town’s people as a backdrop in the town of Shepard’s Bay.

The story starts with a young man from town, one of the newcomers, Dakota is missing.  Isla and her daughter, Katie are the two main characters.  Everyone is concerned but it isn’t until Katie and her best friend Willow go missing for several days that the town’s fears grow.  Luckily Katie is found, but with no memory of what happened.  Isla is determined to discover what happened.  Katie is struggling with the memories, but concerned with what she is remembering.  Meanwhile, Isla’s husband has disappeared for days and is not at all helpful, her youngest son has diabetes that fluctuates rapidly and her own father with dementia.  

Into this family maelstrom, are all the elements rolled into a confusing time and mystery of what is happening in town.  The story slowly twists with revelations and people struggling to find the truth.  The division in the town between “have a lot” and” struggling to get by” add to the drama.   The story is better reading than the plot suggests and you can feel the struggles and strengths of the characters. The Perfect Daughter by Joseph Souza is a good read.
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This was a face-paced read and my first from this author. I love books with this setting (just makes you feel so cozy) and this book was no exception. Looking forward to reading more books from this author.
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Where's Willow?  Where's Dakota?  What happened to Katie?  Isla is glad the her daughter is alive and present but there's something seriously wrong in in this small Maine beach town where tension is growing between the townies and the new rich who are buying up beachfront houses.  Told alternately by Katie, Isla, and Karl, the law enforcement officer working on the case, this is a tale of unsavory activity by  both teens and adults.  Lots of secrets, lots of lies, lots of bad behavior.  If you've been on Katie and Isla's side of the road in one of these towns, you'll recognize it.  It's a fast paced thriller which would benefit from another edit (which it likely got before publication).  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.
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3 1/2 ⭐️‘s
A quick and twisty book that read more like a YA novel.  A small town in Maine has many secrets, especially when the rich and elite start to settle in Harper’s Point.  When a wealthy teen goes missing the town doesn’t quite know what to think.  Did he run away or is there more to the story? Weeks later two girls (friends of the missing boy) also go missing.  Two days later one of the girls (a townie) is found beaten and battered with a head injury and little memory of what happened.  Are the incidents connected and where is Willow?  Will Katie remember before it’s too late.  While I enjoyed this book, it was definitely more of a teen drama tha
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My first book from this author. This was a quick and heartpounding read. I was bingereading this nonstop during one day.
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First, and definitely not last, book by this author!  I usually love anything set in Maine and this was no different  The story centers on 3 missing teens from a small town. Very quick, twisty and disturbing read. How well do we know our kids or neighbors?  Definitely recommend!

Thank you to NetGalley, Joseph Souza and Kensington Books for this ARC!
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Shepherd's Bay Maine has been home to many lobstermen and families but one day everything changed.
The wealthy boy next door -Dakota James- has been missing for weeks- with another incident soon to follow.
Two high school girls (Katie and Willow) soon change the entire projectory of the story when they too go missing.
However, Katie is located albeit bloody and bruised - two days later!
But where is Willow?
Katie, has no idea nor any memory...
Drugs, wild parties, love triangles are circling and rumors in the gossipy town are all over the place.
When a body is found near a boat shed all holy hell breaks loose.
Why was the shed unlocked?
Was it Dakota?
Was it random?
Is there a killer on the loose?
Could someone know more but is in silence mode?
This was a quick, well written, heart pounding thriller that I couldn't let go.
I hope you enjoy!
Thank you to Joseph, the pub, NetGalley, and Kindle for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.
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The Perfect Daughter by Joseph Souza was an intriguing mystery. Set in Maine, it follows Isla, hairdresser and mother of teenage Katie and little boy Raisin. Isla is in a dead marriage. He husband was a former high school basketball star and is now a horrible husband. He’s mostly absent. She has to take care of her dad, who has Alzheimer’s and her little boy who has diabetes. She is overworked and over tired. One night after winning the state softball championship, her daughter Katie doesn’t come home. She has been with her best friend, Willow., who is also missing. Willow’s family is wealthy and from Hollywood. Where have the girls gone? Did they leave on their own or were they taken? When Katie is found, beaten and bruised, she can’t remember what happened or where Willow is. Each chapter is from Isla, Katie, or Karl’s (a town cop who is investigating and also happens to be Isla’s high school sweetheart) point of view. Little by little the mystery unfolds and it is very disturbing and shocking! This is a book that you won’t want to miss! Isla is a great character, tough and resilient. Thanks to Net Galley  and the publisher for the advanced copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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4.5 stars! A local Maine teenager becomes enthralled with  one of the wealthy imports that has started at her school. They quickly become friends and then they both vanish together.

The author brilliantly ties together everyone’s story and keeps you guessing what will happen to these teenage girls and the adults surrounding them.

Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC!
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The Perfect Daughter was a quick read, a twisty thriller that keeps you reading. Usually I would really love this type of story, maybe it is just the wrong book for my frame of mind right now.  I can see most people loved this alot more than I did.

Shepherds Bay in Maine is full of secrets,  a wealthy boy went missing a week earlier and now 2 girls have disappeared.  Katie and Willow are high school kids who didn't come home after a night out celebrating a win. 2 days later Katie is found, battered and sore but alive - and without any memory of what happened. She tries to put the pieces together with her mother.  

Thanks to Kensington Books and Netgalley for my advanced copy of this book to read.  All opinions are my own and are in no way biased.
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This was a new author for me. The plot and storyline were very well done.  Such a wonderful story. I would definitely try another book by This author.
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I really loved this book!! It had so many twists and turns. It kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next!! This was my first book by this Author, and it won’t be the last!! Quick read!! Highly recommended!! You won’t be disappointed!!
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