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The Perfect Child

Written by: Lucinda Berry
Length: 10 hrs and 15 mins
4 out of 5 stars (61 ratings)

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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.

What the critics say

"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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Highs and lows

Oh my goodness! How did this book ever get its title? So many times, like never before, my hand automatically went over my mouth because I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I listened to the last 4,5 hours in one sitting because I couldn’t turn it off. However, when the ending came, it had me as surprised as the rest of the book. 😢

Halfway through, I went and pre-ordered her next novel. Best new author whom I’ve read in a very long time!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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wow! what a read

i downloaded this audiobook as it was on as a daily deal so i didnt expect too much. but wow what a story. being a child psychologist this was right up my alley. i have been wanting a book that i cam just get lost in and havent found one in a while.

this was so gripping and had my attention the whole way through! like others have said, i HATED the dads character. i am also extremely disappointed at the ending. its been set up like there will be a sequel but cannot find anything to say that there will be one. so many loose ties. but i still think its worth 5 stars.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Pathetic, Painful Listening!!! Do not recommend

Well, I don't recommend this unless you are one of those people that think kids can do no wrong and are so innocent! I wish I knew the beginning that the parents of this psychopath are those enabling, stupid types who refuse to see the truth. i never would have bought it. The father especially....OMG, he is to blame to constantly finding excuses for the little evil nut case.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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WHAT A STORYYYY!!!!!

omg! this book kept me il all night. I just had to keep listening! great character development, it really felt like this could happen or has happened to someone. in parts i almost felt like the writer was writing from experience or a real life situation they were aware of. amazing book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wow... just wow...

Although the author succeeded in making me feel so miserable and disturbed, I just couldn't stop listening.

People complain about the ending, but I feel like it suits the rest of the story pretty well, leaving you feeling horrified and hating the whole situation that the characters had to go through.

Overall, great job. Will definitely read more of her books

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Riveting!

I thoroughly compelling story. I like the way it was told by three different people.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Do not waste your credit.

I didn't finish. Other reviews claim the ending is the set up for the sequel and I could not be bothered to invest more of my life with these characters.
They are supposed to be medical professionals? They struck me as totally clueless. The father was in such denial that I wanted to smack him. The fact that the social worker didn't "red flag" anything also stretched credulity.
All in all, give it a miss.

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I was perpetually angry the whole time..

This was a hard one for me not to skip through. Everything seemed familiar as I've seen this kind of story line time and time again. It wasn't bad by any means but it wasn't unique. I was also mad at the main characters like 90% of the time for being so daft.

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Ending is anticlimactic

great story, very original, but ending leaves you wanting more closure. was surprised when it just ended.

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Good but

Took a while to get into it but enjoyed it.. I see what people mean about the ending. Disliked Christopher so much

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  • shelley
  • 2019-03-02

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.

33 of 33 people found this review helpful

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  • Wayne
  • 2019-10-25

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.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jenn
  • 2019-03-05

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Wanda
  • 2019-05-03

Brilliant

For somebody who is not a fan of mpov in books this is one that actually proves my problem. The premise is brilliant but I think the author attempted to use the switch in narrators and in points of view to prolong and build up suspense. Seriously, For me this detracted from it. The mpov might be a bit more subtle if you read a book rather than listen to it so hopefully readers will disagree with me.

On that note. The premise is brilliant and you should understand how truly much I dislike mpov for me to only give this book a four star instead of a five star rating.

The story. BRILLIANT.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Elaine
  • 2019-06-26

Uhmm...

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

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathi Cann
  • 2019-07-09

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Adriana
  • 2019-07-08

Captures your attention. from the start

Such a well narrated story. I was intrigued from the beginning and could not stop. I was captured and had to find out what was going to happen. I loved it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • V
  • 2019-05-01

Great Story

What a very disturbing story but definitely recommend, There were twists I didn't expect, yet some I did and I think I wanted more at the end.
I hope you bring more of Lucinda Berry's books onto Audible. Please bring more of her books to Audible

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Rayrone Vellon
  • 2019-04-29

Hard Core Ride

I thought I had this book figured out...wow, it kept turning all kinds of circles. Thank you for keeping me on edge for the entire ride!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer# 9999
  • 2019-04-21

Real world problems

Real world problems with no real solutions. The reality of this book is accurate as well as infuriating. If two parents that are medical professionals have these kind of problems dealing with the incompetent system imagine how less educated, and poor people do it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful