Book of the Day

 

20180227CoverTheBadDAughterJoyFielding
THE BAD DAUGHTER

By Joy Fielding

Ballantine Books
$27.00
ISBN 978-0399181535
Publication Date:  February 27, 2018

THE BAD DAUGHTER

Review by Sharon Marchisello

Joy Fielding’s new psychological suspense novel, The Bad Daughter, explores complex familial relationships and chilling secrets. Robin Davis, the heroine, works as a therapist but suffers from panic attacks, a dysfunctional family background, and insecurity about her romantic future. Her fiancé, Blake, has been spending long hours at his law office, and Robin speculates he may be having an affair with his pretty new assistant.

Robin has a toxic rapport with her older sister, Melanie, who still lives in their hometown of Red Bluff, in Northern California, with her teenage autistic son, Landon. It has been five years since Robin last spoke to their father, who married her former best friend, Tara, just a few months after their mother died from cancer. Tara had been engaged to Robin’s younger brother Alec, whom she jilted in favor of his wealthier father. Robin and Alec remain cordial, but since she lives in Los Angeles and Alec lives in San Francisco, their communication is infrequent.

In the opening chapter, Robin receives a call from Melanie, which she allows to go to voicemail while she struggles to focus on her patient during a therapy session. When she finally returns Melanie’s call, she learns their father, Tara, and Cassidy, Tara’s 12-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, have all been shot in an apparent home invasion. Tara is dead, and the prospects for survival of the others are grim.

Robin feels duty-bound to return to Red Bluff, despite her fear that leaving Blake alone in Los Angeles will hasten the end of their engagement. She wouldn’t dream of imposing on his career aspirations by asking him to accompany her.

As Robin and Melanie work with the local sheriff to figure out who committed such a heinous crime, they uncover clues that suggest the assault was more personal than random. Greg Davis, their father, had business enemies, and rumors are circulating that both he and Tara were having affairs. But what kind of psychopath would try to kill a 12-year-old girl?

Also estranged from the family, Alec refuses to come home, despite the crisis. However, his car was spotted in Red Bluff on the night of the shooting, and he soon becomes a suspect. Landon won’t speak about that night, but Robin notices him constantly rocking back and forth, staring out his bedroom window at his grandfather’s house next door, and she wonders what he might have seen… or done.

Cassidy wakes up and is able to provide some answers, but how much of her story can be believed? She tells Robin she’s the only one she can trust, and she wants to leave Red Bluff and live in Los Angeles with Robin and Blake if her stepfather does not survive.

Secrets, past and present, abound. Relationships are not as they appear. Long-lost relatives show up, smelling a pay-out. Robin pieces together a disturbing truth she never saw coming, even as it stares her in the face.

Joy Fielding is the New York Times bestselling author of Someone is Watching, Charley’s Web, Heartstopper, See Jane Run, and other acclaimed novels—25 and counting. Before embracing a full-time writing career, she earned a BA in English Literature and dabbled in acting. She divides her time between Toronto and Palm Beach.

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Many thanks to Cindy Murray and Random House for providing Killer Nashville with the advance review copy. 

Sharon Marchisello (sharonmarchisello.com) is the author of Going Home, (Sunbury Press, 2014) a murder mystery inspired by her mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s. (It was not a New York Times bestseller.) She earned a Masters in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California and is a member of the Atlanta Chapter of Sisters in Crime. She lives in Peachtree City, Georgia, with her husband and cat, does volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society, and writes a blog about personal finance, Countdown to Financial Fitness https://sharonmarchisello.blogspot.com/.