The Perfect Stepmother: A totally gripping psychological suspense thriller

· Bookouture
17 reviews

About this ebook

She seems too good to be true. And now she lives in your home…


Lily wants to be happy for her father when he tells her he’s getting married again. Even if it feels too soon after the death of Lily’s mother.


He’s madly in love with Maria. And he thinks she’s going to the perfect stepmother to Lily’s much-younger sister, Emma. And perhaps he’s right. Because no one seems to have a bad word to say about Maria.


It’s only Lily who can’t trust her. Who thinks no one is that perfect. Who notices no one had ever heard of Maria until exactly ten years before.


And then Emma goes missing…


A totally gripping and unmissable psychological suspense novel about dark family secrets, perfect for fans of Shalini Boland, Claire McGowan and Gone Girl.

Readers are loving The Perfect Stepmother:

‘This is a fantastic read! I could NOT stop reading it! Just when I thought I had figured it all out, twists and turns caught me by total surprise! Honestly, it’s one of the best thrillers I’ve read!’ NetGalley reviewer, 5 stars


A WINNER!!!!… Excellent plot… Awesome ending… An amazing book.’ NetGalley reviewer, 5 stars


‘I was hooked from the first page. It was full of twists and turns and I was kept on the edge of my seat throughout!! That ending… Wow.’ NetGalley reviewer, 5 stars


Gripping … Takes us on a jaw-dropping journey and revelations… I could not put the book down and picked it up at every opportunity I got and finished it within a couple of days. I just had to find out what happened.’ Goodreads reviewer


‘A true thriller!… All of the secrets. All of the unknown. When you finally think you know what is going on, there is a major plot twist! It is perfect! This is a psychological thriller. And if I could, I would highlight the “psychological” and make it big!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Fast paced, gripping and it keeps you wondering… This one had me on the edge of my seat!!@bm.bookish.girl, 5 stars

Gripping… It grabbed me from the first page until the last page!… From one moment to the next I wasn't sure who or what to believe. There were many twists and turns that kept me wanting to turn each page until the final unexpected ending.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

So many secrets! So many twists and turns! Who do you believe?… Had me hooked from the start. I luuuuuuuuuuuuurve a good psychological thriller, especially when it involves *drumroll* FAMILY SECRETS!!!!!’ Goodreads reviewer

Ratings and reviews

17 reviews
Zelda Behr
June 17, 2021
The Perfect Stepmother looks at how we are defined by our past, how choices made in youth can haunt you for the rest of your life, define who you are and how you end up living your life. This story was not what I initially expected. It holds the promise of an exciting thriller, but it is also a moving, serious story that leaves you with a tear or two. Opening this eBook, I was met with over six hundred pages which I was convinced would take me a while to get through. However, they ended up slipping away all too quickly. The story is told from Lily and Maria’s perspective, allowing you to experience both women’s emotions as you read. This makes it extremely difficult to pick aside. This daughter and stepmother share their feelings with you while not with each other. I found myself changing my opinion from page to page. The author unfolds the story with just enough information for you never to be a hundred percent certain of who you trust. When Gareth decided to marry Maria only a year after the death of his wife Ruth, Lily is immediately concerned. Maria was Ruth’s beautician, and someone Ruth bonded with. Lily is convinced that Maria is taking advantage of her father, that he is still grieving, and not thinking clearly. Concerned about both her father and her little sister, Lily cannot make peace with Gareth decision and she finds it impossible to trust her stepmother. Lily is convinced that Maria is hiding something. No matter what her suspicions, nothing could prepare her for the truth that awaits her after little Emma disappears. This story was intriguing right from the start, the characters are creative and realistic making it easy to bond with them and share their emotions. Five-year-old Emma steals your heart quickly. I lost myself in this story and was left with a tear rolling down my cheek at the end. This book turned out a lot more emotional than I expected, but I loved every minute. I could not pick a favourite character in this story. As the story develops you see a different side to both Lily and Maria, and just when you think you picked your favourite, something new is revealed and you end up changing sides. The author did a marvellous job at keeping you uncertain, leaving you unsure who to trust. By the time you have the full story you understand both sides and end up liking both these women. Little Emma is simply precious and the one consistent character you love from beginning to end. The Perfect Stepmother is a wonderful story full of surprises and emotion. I loved reading this book, enjoying every minute I spent with it. This book can be added to your TBR if you enjoy psychological fiction, mysteries and thrillers. It is a fast read even if the eBook version is over six hundred pages, they disappear in a flash. This is one of those stories that I cannot recommend highly enough, it’s gripping and emotional and leaves you wanting more, a brilliant read that will not leave you disappointed.
1 person found this review helpful
Marnie Harrison
June 16, 2021
This cover with a lone woman standing behind the window gave me goosebumps when I first laid eyes on this book and I just had to know her story. After reading the blurb, the following questions kept running around in my head. What is she hiding, are her intentions pure and most importantly, does she have anything to do with the disappearance of her new husband’s little girl Emma? Karen King has crafted a gripping and addictive page turner that I found very compelling. It is a slow burn, but the tension and suspense that is built up along the way sets the story up well for its outcome. You know it is going to be something big and there was no way I could put the book down until I knew how it was going to unfold. The book opens with Emma’s disappearance then rewinds back eight months to where it is told from the points of view of Lily and Maria in the lead up. Immediately Lily has her guard up with her father’s new bride given that it is not even a year since her mother has passed and feels that there is more to her than meets the eye. Meanwhile Maria is hiding something so harrowing and shocking that if exposed, threatens to ruin her marriage and her new found happiness. The Perfect Stepmother is not your normal run of the mill psychological suspense and there is so much more to it. What I was not expecting was how it pulled on my heartstrings and had me shedding a few tears. It plays out well, but what I loved the most was the ending! Oh my goodness!!! So good! With that said I will finished this off by saying, this is a great read which I recommend you checking out.
Cinta García de la Rosa
June 17, 2021
Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for letting me read this book prior to its publication. My opinion is 100% honest, unbiased, and my own. This is the second book I read from the same author and I really enjoyed it. The premise, the story, the characters... all of that got me intrigued from the beginning and I just had to read more. I have to admit this book has kept me reading until quite late at night, and I used to wake up extra early so I could read a couple of chapters before my day started. Although not perfect, it had all the necessary elements to keep me reading. This book presents a very interesting debate: can a person atone for the mistakes they committed in the past? Can a person start a fresh new life after something horrible happened in their past? Can society forget and forgive, or is it asking too much? When Maria appears in the lives of Gareth and his family, nobody knows anything about her previous life before she arrived to their town. Why all the secrecy? Is she hiding something? Why is she so obsessed with being the perfect stepmother and being a perfect role model in their town? Mystery is served. The pace of the story was well done, although sometimes Lily's words and thoughts felt a bit repetitive. She went on and on about the same topic, and sometimes she started sounding a bit petulant. As for the rest of the characters, well constructed and developed. The reason I don't give it five stars is because I guessed one of the major key elements to be in play at the end of the book. To me it was pretty obvious, but I won't say anything because I don't want to reveal any spoilers. Overall, a very good story with the perfect dose of suspense and thrilling elements.

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