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The Perfect Son by Freida McFadden

Digital Reads Reviews is a blog-haven for book posts and tech tips. This is a review of a psychological thriller, The Perfect Son.
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This review of The Perfect Son  by Freida McFadden has the ending being explained, as many have asked me to do that. 

Do not read beyond the conclusion as the next section includes the spoilers in detail.

Table of Contents

I loved it

Publication Date: April 2020

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“Mrs. Cass, we were hoping your son could answer a few questions about the girl who disappeared last night…”

Erika Cass has a perfect family and a perfect life.

Until the evening when two detectives show up at her front door.

A high school girl has vanished from Erika’s quiet suburban neighborhood.

The police suspect the worst–murder.

And Erika’s teenage son, Liam, was the last person to see the girl alive.

Erika has always sensed something dark and disturbed in her seemingly perfect older child.

She wants to believe he’s innocent, but as the evidence mounts, she can’t deny the truth–Liam may have done the unthinkable.

Now she must ask herself:

How far will she go to protect her son?

My Review

What was it all about

The Perfect Son was a dark psychological thriller by author Freida McFadden, who laid down crumbs down all blind alleys, just to catch me unaware. 

Erika loved her son Liam the most, her favorite, but she also knew there was something not quite right about him. 

A mother’s love went far when she tried to protect all the girls he tried to befriend. 

Until his classmate Olivia disappeared and Liam was the last person to be with her. 

The Good

Addictive and thrilling was this book. The pages turned fast, and the narrators did a brilliant job with the audio version. 

The book was fast paced and the scenes just seemed to flow into each other, leaving me wanting more. 

Though I had guessed the truth, it was still a pleasure to go down the merry path the author had laid down. 

I liked the dark claustrophobic feeling I got when I read about the mother’s fears about her son’s inherent apathy.

Different POVs gave me the entire gamut of emotions of the mother and the lost girl. 

The Bad

Being a thriller reader, it was quite easy to guess the plot line and the perp.

The Conclusion

This author has become an auto-buy as each of her books leave me wanting more from her. Definitely recommended. 


SPOILER ALERT - Book Ending Explained

And, in addition to, furthermore, moreover, besides, than, too, also, both-and, another, equally important, first, second, etc., again, further, last, finally, not only-but also, as well as, in the second place, next, likewise, similarly, in fact, as a result, consequently, in the same way, for example, for instance

Chapters 55 - 56

Erika went to introduce herself to her father who had been sent to prison for the murder of his mistress. She was so scared that her son had inherited her father’s genes. But when she finally got to know the truth, she realized maybe he was not the sociopath she thought him to be and above all, he showed remorse.

In the next chapter, she was waiting for her husband to come back, but he was running late. The scene was followed by her son Liam knocking on her door, sobbing, with a secret buried in his heart about Olivia. That drove a stab of fear deep into her heart. And, as a result, both set out to the see the place that Liam wanted to show her, which was right in the depths of the woods. 

Chapters 57 - 58 - 59

This had Olivia’s POV and her lines of her suffering subsequently, and furthermore, Hannah entered the cabin. Erika’s daughter. The last line revealed the perpetrator – Hannah’s father and Erika’s husband – Jason (That was why my review mentioned I had already guessed it.) 

Chapter 58 had Jason’s POV and above all, his perverseness written in, letting us know how he not only used Liam to commit his own murders but also had him going to prison. 

Hannah had already begun suspecting her dad, but this reveal of Jason was a complete shock to her. 

Chapters 60 - 61 - 62 - 63 - 64

Liam subsequently revealed the truth to Erika about Jason being crazy, which led to her doubting her son, while a small part of her started correlating some of his actions. Jason was just leaving the cabin when he came across the two, and he soon changed his story, trying to sway Erika to his side. But he had a knife in his hand. Which was the most compelling evidence. 

Jason charged at Erika, but Liam intercepted. When Erika picked up the knife, she was still undecided but knew that between the two of them, she would always save her son. So she handed the blade to her son, and he coolly plunged the knife into his father’s chest, without the slightest hesitation. 

The next three chapters were about saving Olivia and Hannah and Erika taking the blame for her son about killing Jason as she didn’t want Liam to be imprisoned again. The cops suspected her, but with more evidence about Jason’s involvement in other members coming up, they further decided to not look too closely at her statement. Olivia also decided to date Liam in th light of his saving her. 


In conclusion, this was where the twist occurred. One year later, when life was coming back to normal for the three of them and Liam had begun to do well in school, with his winning the state-wide debate competition the previous night. Seeing her son’s happy face, Erika was glad until the news on the radio spoke about a girl going missing from Troy which was just 8 miles away from Albany and would take 16 minutes by car. 

And her mind was filled with doubt about her son, if he had been the one who had kidnapped and killed the young woman. This was a common ploy of all thriller writers, where they kept it open-ended with the main character wondering about the truth. In this, Erika had three factors, her father had killed someone, her husband was the serial killer, and Liam too had done many things in his childhood of killing the cat and frightening his classmates, psychopathic tendencies, so there was always a part of her who was afraid of him and for him. 

I downloaded the digital version of the book from an online retail, and this is my journey down its pages, straight from the heart. STRICTLY HONEST and UNBIASED.

If you’ve loved the review, buy me a cuppa to perk me up.

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