Paula Daly is acclaimed for her distinctive voice, masterful plotting, and terrifying depictions of ordinary people whose everyday lives are turned upside down through deception and murder. In her unsettling new domestic thriller, The Trophy Child , Daly digs beneath the serene surface of the idyllic suburban Lake District community where families strive for perfection, delivering a suspenseful, surprising story of motherhood and fallibility.
Karen Bloom is not the coddling mother type. She believes in raising her children for success. Some in the neighborhood call her assertive, others say she’s driven, but in gossiping circles she’s known as: the tiger mother. Karen believes that tough discipline is the true art of parenting and that achievement leads to ultimate happiness. She expects her husband and her children to perform at 200 percentno matter the cost. But in an unending quest for excellence, her seemingly flawless family start to rebel against her.
Her husband Noel is a handsome doctor with a proclivity for alcohol and women. Their prodigy daughter, Bronte, is excelling at school, music lessons, dance classes, and yet she longs to run away. Verity, Noel’s teenage daughter from his first marriage, is starting to display aggressive behavior. And Karen’s son from a previous relationship falls deeper into drug use. When tragedy strikes the Blooms, Karen’s carefully constructed facade begins to fall apartand once the deadly cracks appear, they are impossible to stop.
A thrilling tale of ambition and murder, Daly’s richly imagined world of suburban striving and motherly love is an absorbing page-turner about the illusions of perfection and the power games between husband and wife, parent and child.
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Paula Daly is the author of Just What Kind of Mother Are You? , Keep Your Friends Close , and The Mistake I Made . She lives in North West England. The Trophy Child is her fourth novel.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I love all her books
I've read all of Paula Daly's books - they're addicting page turners - and I was eager to read her latest - The Trophy Child. And yes, it was another fantastic read! There are always difficulties in blended families. But the Bloom family is truly struggling. Father Noel is spending more and more time at work (and in a bottle) as he doesn't want to deal with the home situation. Verity is Noel's daughter, living with her father and her stepmother Karen not by choice, but because she has nowhere else to go. Ewan is Karen's son from her first marriage. He's happily stoned most of the time, living over the garage. The one thing that binds them is Bronte - the ten year old daughter of Karen and Noel. And then Bronte goes missing...... After Bronte's disappearance, Daly caught me completely off guard with the turn her plot took. I adore not being able to predict where a plot is going to lead - and Daly definitely kept me off kilter.And she provides us with lots of suspects for the whodunit. For for those of you who love psychological suspense as much as I do, there is a twist at the end. There is so much going on behind the scenes here. Each of the family has secrets. But the character who had me spitting mad was Karen. She's a vitriolic tyrant. And she takes 'Tiger Mom' to a whole new level, scheduling every minute of Bronte's life, demanding perfection. Honestly, some (okay most) of her dialogue was off the charts. It was very easy to hate this character. Karen's attitude is a current social commentary....."British parents, though they wouldn't admit it, were sneakily adopting the Chinese model of parenting, whereby anything less than an 'A' was considered a failure. They meant that a balanced childhood was okay for someone else's child. Not theirs." The one I felt the most for was Verity. She is caught in this dysfunctional family, tormented by Karen. Each player is fleshed out with very distinct personalities. They're not all pretty and there was more than one character I was on the fence about. One of those was the DS Joanne Aspinall (last seen in Just What Kind of Mother Are You) who is investigating the Bloom case. But I was quite taken by her partner DS Oliver Black - he seems to be one of the few characters who has no baggage or ulterior motives. But, I found my empathy and sympathy changed with each new chapter and revelation. But what I'm not on the fence about is how much I enjoyed this latest from Daly! Definitely recommended!
I am new to Paula Daly. With each book I expect suspense, drama, and an unsolvable mystery for the reader. This is exactly what The Trophy Child was for me. The suspense of the missing child, the mixed family, and the psycho tiger mom were written perfectly. The drama of the family was interesting. A child from past relationships for both parents and one child together almost always leads to some interesting happenings but in this family it went farther than that due to the tiger mom. Tiger mom?? I could come up with some much better words to describe the mother. I know this is fiction but I so wanted to slap Noel. He needed to wake up, deal with his wife, be a father, and take control of his out of control life. His children needed them, all 3 of them, so badly. He failed them. Noel truly lived in his own world, letting everyone else circle around him. I really enjoyed this book from beginning to end. Paula Daly had me guessing and changing my mind at each new clue. The ending surprised me. I never saw it coming. Definitely pick up The Trophy Child.