Book Title: My Husband’s Son
Author: Deborah O’Connor
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Mystery
Date Read: 06/07/16
Pub Date: 06/14/16
You’d always recognise your own son. Wouldn’t you?
Heidi and Jason aren’t like other couples.
Six years ago, Heidi’s daughter was murdered. A year later, Jason’s son Barney disappeared. Their shared loss brought them together.
By chance, Heidi meets a boy she’s certain is Barney.
But Jason is equally convinced it’s not him.
Is Heidi mad? Or is Jason hiding something? And can their fragile marriage survive Heidi’s newfound quest for the truth . . .
Yes! Debut author alert! This one is “juicy and delicious” with a side of “keep me up all night reading because I don’t want to put it down”! When the author’s pr contacted me about reviewing the book and possibly doing a guest post on pub day, I knew I had a good bit on my plate but was intrigued all the same. I’m glad I went with my gut because I cannot imagine missing out on this gem of a story!
The novel opens with a scene of a small boy being kidnapped. We don’t know when, where, or really why its happening but we shortly find out who the boy is. Jumping forward into present day, the plot is set up with Jason and Heidi and their unique marriage. As the book blurb states, they have both lost children to horrible crimes, the only difference being that Heidi’s daughter Lauren* was murdered and Barney is still presumed missing. Many false sightings have worn Jason, Heidi, and Jason’s ex-wife Vicky (also Barney’s mother) down and caused tensions to run high. When Heidi is out one afternoon following work, she spots a boy in a beverage shop that appears to be the spitting image of Barney. Heidi is so convinced that this boy is Barney that she decides to investigate, without Jason’s blessing, as she feels bringing Barney home would be the best gift she could give Jason and secure their marriage indefinitely.
“Desperately trying to spot the red dash of Barney’s T-shirt in amongst the wet cars and motorbikes, she would be paying that his face would suddenly appear and that, within minutes, she would be scolding and cuddling him for giving her such a fright.”
Haven’t we all been there as parents? At some point, haven’t we (however briefly) lost sight of our kids and panicked so efficiently that when we found them we were torn between screaming and them and never letting them out of your warm embrace? I love how this story was based around such a subtle, yet terrifying premise. I won’t go into too much plot detail because SPOILERS, but I like how we are mostly in the dark from the beginning and we are slowly given information to piece together and solve the mystery as a whole. There are a good many surprises and twists, although I don’t want to dwell on those because then you will be reading solely for the twists and miss the whole excellence this book has to offer. I’m not going to compare this book to other thrillers because I felt this one stood firm on its own two feet; it doesn’t need to be supported by past novels that were successful.
“It was strange, when you thought about it. This new, almost slavish obsession we had
with DNA. Memories and experiences seemed to me to shape our identity so much
more than a series of cells and chromosomes.”
I truly loved how the blending of family and tragedy was a constant theme throughout this book. The first thing that truly gripped me when reading the blurb was how unique this plot premise seemed; how would it work if you placed two emotionally damaged souls in union together? Would they hold each other up, or would they slowly break each other down like a festering wound? I’ll let you decide what you think by the ending, and that is all I’ll say about the ending as I’m hoping everyone will keep it hush hush as to not spoil it for any readers! I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND this one to all psychological thriller/suspense lovers! This one kept me glued; I truly didn’t want to put it down. The pacing is very quick and is easily devoured in 1-2 days. Many thanks to Deb and Bonnier Zaffre Publishers for my copy; truly a great read that I believe will be very successful!
*just a quick note that I couldn’t seem to find the right place for in my review. I really admired the way that Lauren was sort of this ghostly, ambiguous character throughout the book. Early on, we don’t really know what happened to Lauren, but are slowly filled in as the story goes along. It was very brutal and disturbing, and this might be a trigger for some readers; overall though the book was not gratuitously violent or graphic.