The Perfect Daughter

Kensington. Apr. 2020. 368p. ISBN 9781496726384. $26. SUSPENSE
In his third novel, Souza (Pray for the Girl) invites readers to Shepherd’s Bay, ME, a small fishing town that has recently had an influx of wealthy outsiders building massive homes on the beachfront. This disparity causes tensions between the poor residents and the newcomers. Before the novel starts, a rich boy named Dakota has gone missing. Local policeman Karl, a native of Shepherd’s Bay, has been looking everywhere for him. Meanwhile, Isla, Karl’s high school flame, reports that her teenage daughter Katie is missing, along with Katie’s wealthy friend Willow. Katie is found two days later and wakes in the hospital without remembering what led to her disappearance. The hunt for Willow and Dakota divides the townspeople further. Karl, Isla, and Katie search for Willow, leading to a surprising ending. Each short chapter is told from the point of view of either Karl, Isla, or Katie.
VERDICT The story is timely with the examination of wealthy newcomers versus blue-collar townspeople leading to anger and violence. The ending is well-designed, and readers will likely enjoy the overall story. Fans of Souza’s previous works and books by Michael Koryta will find this worthwhile.

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