A doting mother or a pushy parent?
Karen Bloom expects perfection. Her son, Ewan, has been something of a disappointment and she won’t be making the same mistake again with her beloved, talented child, Bronte.
Bronte’s every waking hour will be spent at music lessons and dance classes, doing extra schoolwork and whatever it takes to excel.
But as Karen pushes Bronte to the brink, the rest of the family crumbles. Karen’s husband, Noel, is losing himself in work, and his teenage daughter from his first marriage, Verity, is becoming ever more volatile. The family is dangerously near breaking point.
Karen would know when to stop . . . wouldn’t she?
This was my first Paula Daly novel and it won’t be my last. The Trophy Child is a domestic mystery novel about the blended family of Karen Bloom, her husband Noel and their three children. I was surprised when the first chapter of the novel introduced Verity – Noel’s daughter – as the first of the family, taking a drug test at school. She was a model student and daughter but then they found drugs on her and she attacked Karen! I wanted to know all there was to know about the how and why of it all but the author had a few other puzzling events in store first.
Anyway since the attack ‘poor’ Karen put her focus solely on her youngest, her daughter Bronte. The girl has a million and one after school activities and she has to be the best at all of them. Then one day the family’s perfectly organized world shatters and there’s a detective knocking at their door investigating a missing child and an unrelated crime that also involved the family soon after. At first I was expecting only family drama but this was way better than I hoped for!
Karen was also SUCH a character, I loooved to hate her and she was the perfect villain of the novel. I didn’t feel sorry for her one bit. There were other characters who didn’t really like her either but maybe they kept it better hidden than me, well at least one of them did and I wanted to know who. There are a few suspects but I was completely dumbfounded at the end when the different puzzle pieces came together. Not as fast-paced in the beginning as I’m used to perhaps but if you want unpredictable you have it here in spades.
The Trophy Child is a cleverly written novel with fabulous twists and turns. For the life of me I couldn’t figure this one out so for that alone it deserves to be recommended highly.
I bought a second hand copy of this novel. This review is my honest opinion.