The Perfect Mother

The Perfect Mother

A Novel

Format
Paperback
Price
$16.00
 
Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780142196731
  • 240  Pages
  • Plume
  • Adult

Overview

When an American exchange student is accused of murder, her mother will stop at nothing to save her.

A midnight phone call shatters Jennifer Lewis’s carefully orchestrated life. Her daughter, Emma, who’s studying abroad in Spain, has been arrested after the brutal murder of another student. Jennifer rushes to her side, certain the arrest is a terrible mistake and determined to do whatever is necessary to bring Emma home. But as she begins to investigate the crime, she starts to wonder whether she ever really knew her daughter. The police charge Emma, and the press leaps on the story, exaggerating every sordid detail. One by one, Emma’s defense team, her father, and finally even Jennifer begin to have doubts.
 
A novel of harrowing emotional suspense, The Perfect Mother probes the dark side of parenthood and the complicated bond between mothers and daughters.

Praise

Praise for The Perfect Mother:

“In this fictionalized account of the Amanda Knox case, journalist Darnton asks the question any parent would dread: Is my child capable of murder?

Although certainly inspired by the Knox trial, Darnton focuses more on the emotional landscape—the relationship between mother and daughter, how a child’s accomplishment becomes the parent’s. On the surface, Jennifer Lewis seems that titular perfect mother, and the proof is in Emma, the kind of teenager who volunteers, makes good grades and gets into Princeton. Now on her junior year in Spain, Emma calls home with the shocking news that a man tried to rape her and has been killed. Jennifer flies to Seville, but her reconciliation with Emma is surprisingly rocky. Released after intensive questioning (she claims that after she screamed for help, a stranger came into her apartment, killed the rapist and fled), Emma is hostile and uncommunicative. Their high-priced Spanish lawyer and private detective Roberto Ortiz suggest more cooperation—according to Spanish law, if the police simply charge her with a crime, she can wait up to four years in prison before a trial even begins, and as it stands, the police don’t believe her story. And neither does Emma’s father, Mark, a corporate lawyer, though Jennifer is convinced her daughter would never lie. As Jennifer becomes angry at Mark for his disloyalty, she becomes close with Roberto, who offers just the reassurances (she really is a good mother) that Jennifer needs to hear. When Emma’s story begins to fall apart—her boyfriend, Paco, is an ex-con drug dealer, the “rapist” a good boy from an affluent family, and her own kitchen knife is the murder weapon—Jennifer considers other aspects of her daughter’s past, including lying, cheating and stealing, that reveal more than she can admit about her daughter and herself.

A fast-paced thriller with the kind of emotional impact that transcends a simple whodunit.” —Kirkus Reviews

“This haunting page-turner will keep you up all night and be long remembered after the last page has been read.” —Mary Higgins Clark
  
Praise for An African Affair:

“A vivid portrait of a troubled country.” –The New York Times

“Darnton combines real-world events with a fabulous mix of suspense and intrigue…the perfect read.” —Clive Cussler

“A smart and diverting . . . international thriller that will satisfy readers looking for new talent and a brisk read.” –Booklist

“You feel the heat, taste the frustration, and smell the fear . . . A thrilling read.” –Robin Cook
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