The Perfect Daughter – D.J. Palmer

Grace Francone has just returned home from a run to find that her sixteen-year-old daughter, Penny, has left the house and taken her father’s car without permission. With attempts to call her and texts sent with no response, Grave feels a wave of fear when the police show up at her home. Envisioning a horrible accident, Grace opens the door to hear even worse news – her daughter has been arrested for murder.

Penny is Grace’s adopted daughter – a gift from God in Grace’s mind after Grace found her crying, soaked to the bone and alone at a nearby park. When her mother was determined to be drug addicted and unfit, Grace and her family immediately started the proceedings to adopt her, and she became a full-fledged member of their family a year later, with a name change to Penny, a name given to her by her brothers. Penny also has been diagnoses with DID, Dissociative Identity Disorder, which began manifesting itself at the age of 12.  With four distinct personalities known to the family, Grace knows that she needs immediate legal assistance, and contacts an attorney she met by accident, literally, to see if he can help. 

When Grace arrives at the police station, she learns that Penny was found at the scene of the crime, knife and head, and covered in the victim’s blood. To Grace’s shock, the victim is none other than Penny’s birth mother, Rachel Boyd. With what appears to be a slam-dunk case, Penny is arraigned on murder charges and remanded to Edgewater Psychiatric Hospital until trial. It is there, that Penny comes into the care of Dr. Mitch McHugh, who works with Eve, one of Penny’s alternate personalities as they try to understand the demons that Penny carries and what lead to the events of that fateful night. 

With little clues that each of Penny’s persona’s provide, Mitch and Grace work to piece together a small child’s trauma, not realizing the past is very much a part of the present…

This was a fascinating look into the psychiatric disorder of multiple personality disorder, a topic that remains controversial in the psychology field today.  It was intriguing, easy to get lost in, yet had me scratching my head as more and more of Penny’s past was revealed. I kept looking for clues as to how the book would end, and I have to say, I was completely floored at the very unexpected outcome! If you’re looking for a psychological thriller that’s refreshingly different, this is the book for you!! 

I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from #Netgalley & St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an objective review.