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Publisher's Summary

A Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestseller.

A pause-resisting 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.

©2019 Heather Berry. (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"A mesmerizing, unbearably tense thriller that will have you looking over your shoulder and sleeping with one eye open. This creepy, serpentine tale explores the darkest corners of parenthood and the profoundly unsettling lengths one will go to to keep a family together - no matter the consequences. Electrifying and atmospheric, this dark gem of a novel is one I couldn’t put down.” --Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author

“A deep, dark, and dangerously addictive read. All-absorbing to the very end!” --Minka Kent, Washington Post bestselling author

What listeners say about The Perfect Child

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

2/3rd of the book is boring but rest is riveting

I loved the 1/3rd of the book at the end; it is really interesting and absorbing. I gave one less star to the story because it is incomplete. Not an open ending, but abrupt, i.e. it ends in between a paragraph. I hope this is a mistake from audible. The voice actor performances are wonderful. You can clearly distinguish and locate the characters, even if they are voiced by a male or female narrator.

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  • shelley
  • 02-03-19

You can see it coming... but how bad is it?

What happens to this family - Pretty Bad!
Lucinda Berry is a psychologist who deals mostly with childhood trauma. My guess would be that her stories come from her cases. If this case is based on facts my heart goes out to the parents of this child.
This book takes parenting a foster child to an extreme. . Many new foster parents believe they are saviors to these children and the publisher's summary hints at the husband feeling this way. Add a new mother to two children. One is with an adopted child with sociopathic tendencies. She like to hurt other living things, urinate on the carpets and smear feces on the wall. The other child is a newborn who rarely sleeps. And let's not forget Mom's going through major postpartum depression.
This book goes from a timeline of events told from three different points of view to a hearing after incidents you won't find out until the end. This book certainly kept me interested and guessing.

The three narrators worked beautifully together.
If you found this review helpful please indicate so.
Thank You.

46 people found this helpful

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  • Alesha
  • 16-04-19

Spend the credit! Omg

I’ve read the comments about the ending but if you were following the story you understand the ending. I couldn’t stop listening. Fantastic!

8 people found this helpful

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  • Kathi Cann
  • 09-07-19

Kathi

As a retired protective services worker, this book brought back some haunting memories. The story line was dead on and the characters believable. I saw one review that complained that there was not an acceptable ending. That’s because, just as in real life, there is no ending, acceptable or otherwise.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Chilvr
  • 11-04-19

Definitely kept me guessing until the very end !

Loved it! Original, well written and excellent narration. This story captivated me so I literally could not put it down! I rarely write reviews but I had to share as soon as I finished. Do not start this book unless you have plenty of time! I literally stood up until 6:00 a.m. to finish it despite the fact I am working today. Like this one since childhood. I listen to audio books everyday and was just starting to get a bit jaded by how similar so many of the stories I have been listening to. Then I listened to this story and I am excited to "read' again. I'm not going to say anymore because I don't want to give anything away, but I highly recommend this book even if this is not your typical genre as it was not mine.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Wayne
  • 25-10-19

Incredible intensity!!

I did not enjoy THE PERFECT CHILD, but maybe it was not intended to be enjoyed. It is intense and I found it depressing. The premise of the novel is that children as young as 6 or 7 years can be sociopaths capable of per-meditated murder. Narration is stellar.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Jenn
  • 05-03-19

domestic drama version of “Baby Teeth” by Zoje Stage

This book is like a domestic drama version of “Baby Teeth” by Zoje Stage, which was more on the creepy, thriller side. This story held my interest the whole time, I expected a more dramatic push and pull with the husband and wife believing/not-believing, taking sides etc (there was quite a bit already but not like in other similar stories) so it definitely unfolded a little differently than I thought — not a bad thing at all, it just placed the book in a different genre than I initially anticipated.

On a side note, the story was very focused on “the system” of child services and social workers and there was too much blatant blame on them even though across the US they are so over worked and underpaid. The “system” is not the best but the social workers aren’t to blame and don’t get even close to the level of credit they deserve.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Elaine
  • 26-06-19

Uhmm...

Okay... What was that awful ending? This book left me with more questions than it even answered. I am not super satisfied.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Helen
  • 23-03-19

Clunk! This is how it ends?

The story, although improbable, mostly held my interest. I kind of wish Christopher began to have at least some doubts and chinks in his healthy denial system as time went on. The last quarter of the story sputtered and wheezed and finally died an unhappy death on the finale.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Pam
  • 06-03-20

Just awful.

What a waste of a credit and hours of my time. Most ridiculous story I’ve listened to in a long time. Nothing more than an excuse to lecture us on the woes of the social services system. Completely unbelievable storyline with terrible writing. So much wrong with this book, I have absolutely no idea how it has so many great reviews. Have these people ever listened to a legitimately good book?

2 people found this helpful

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  • Vanessa thomas
  • 29-11-19

The author disgusts me

And I quote from the book, "People always assume sexual abuse is the worst form of abuse that a child can endure, but it's not. It doesn't have the lasting effects that you see in kids that have been severely neglected." Any sexual abuse surviver, and anybody that works with them can tell you that it most definitely does have lasting effects. I'm 40 years old and still have trauma issues to this day. I'm disabled partly due to PTSD and it's symptoms, and that's not something that just goes away. You know what kind of person writes statements like that? Pedophiles and rapist apologists. I will never buy from this author again. I'm disgusted.

2 people found this helpful

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  • mrs zoe roberts
  • 19-03-19

Amazing story....but....

what went on with the ending g. so frustrating , I was totally engrossed but the ending absolutely ruined the experience. The performances and story are worth the credit but prepare to be disappointed by the ending. Such a shame.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Echo
  • 16-05-19

The Perfect Child

I enjoyed listening to the book it was a real page turner. The ending was so abrupt though I thought there must of been some kind of mistake. If it’s to be made into a sequel I would understand more, but still think it could of been wrapped up better.

3 people found this helpful

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  • hjct81
  • 28-07-19

Great but why the awful sudden end?

Was there a maximum word count? Where’s the rest?!
I’m all for leaving it on a cliffhanger but this just feels unfinished and the author just gave up.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kay
  • 25-07-19

Soooo happy with this book... when it ended!

So, I listened avidly to this book as I REALLY wanted it to end. I invested a lot of time in the hopes it might improve but, nope it was consistently awful from start to finish. Tbh I’ve never listened to, or read a book where I hated every character, so that was a first. To the people who were left wondering what happened at the end, I can honestly say I didn’t care one hoot, my only disappointment was that any of them survived. Sappy parents, predictable awful child and nauseating social worker. Are you picking up on the fact that I wasn’t a fan?

2 people found this helpful

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  • Rachel Conkey
  • 02-05-19

chilling page turner

This was a fast paced psychological thriller! oh my God I was upset many times, this story will stay with me for years!! Must read!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sjpsam
  • 23-04-19

grupping

loved it, just felt there could have been more to the ending, like what happened to janey,.... did Hannah get better ECT

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jacqui W
  • 07-04-19

Ended abruptly!

Really enjoyed the bulk of the book..... it seems like it's set up for a sequel? if not.... disappointing ending....

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 26-03-19

hard to put down

good read, couldn't put it down, but a little disappointed at the ending, but confusing and wanted to know what happened next.

2 people found this helpful

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  • KLM
  • 14-12-20

Excellent!

Well worth a read or listen! I can definitely recommend! Completed in almost 48 hours!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-09-20

disappointing

I was very excited at the beginning of the book and couldn't stop listening. However the ending was very disappointing and I felt let down. it seemed as if the author didn't know how to end it so just stopped

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anne
  • 05-12-19

Don’t bother

I bought this book from the reviews. I seriously don’t know where to start. It was like a hallmark novel and then it turned really dark. A couple of the characters were totally unbelievable although the child’s behaviours were spot on (I am a foster carer and I have been witness to most of them) but it ended really badly, I had to rewind it a couple of times to see if I had missed something crucial. Don’t waste your credits.

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  • Coljar
  • 23-08-19

Scary

Fascinating and long , but in the end inconclusive ,
held me until then !

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-07-19

Unfinished

I could not believe that the author had left the ending this way.
Was it supposed to somehow indicate a sequel?
Loose ends abound. It's as if the author got bored and just quit writing.
Very disappointed.