In The Perfect Family—which has received starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Booklist—#1 bestselling author Robyn Harding explores what happens when a seemingly perfect family is pushed to the edge...and beyond.
Thomas and Viv Adler have a picture-perfect family. Affluent and attractive, with two well-mannered kids almost out of the nest, they live in a beautifully restored Craftsman house in a well-to-do neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. Their jobs are secure; their children are thriving; the world is their oyster.
Until one morning, when they wake up to find that their house and car have been pelted with eggs. Thomas dismisses it as the work of a few out-of-control kids, but when a smoke bomb is tossed on their front lawn, and the tires on their BMW are punctured, he begins to worry. The family installs surveillance cameras but they show nothing but grainy images of shadowy figures in hoodies. Unable to identify the perpetrators, they are helpless as the assaults escalate. The police assure them that this is just the work of bored teenagers. But no one in the Adler family believes it. After all, each of them has a secret—kept not only from the outside world but from each other.
Seventeen-year-old Tarryn is dabbling in a seedy online world; her older brother, Eli, has dropped out of college and refuses to tell his parents why; and Thomas and Viv have their own secrets that began as harmless fun and relief from the pressures of everyday life, but have grown into something darker and more dangerous. As the Adlers grapple with their guilt, fear, and shame, the assaults grow deadly. Their “perfect” façade is crumbling, and it may be too late for any of them to do anything about it in this addictive and twisty suspense novel that will keep you turning pages until its explosive ending.
About the author
Robyn Harding is the author of four successful novels including The Secret Desires of a Soccer Mom and Unravelled. Her first teen novel, My Parents are Sex Maniacs, will be published in 2009. She is a contributing editor at Granville Magazine, a lifestyle publication with a focus on sustainability. This is her first nonfiction book. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Excerpt: The Perfect Family (by (author) Robyn Harding)
“Unforgettable . . . Readers ready for a rollercoaster ride of guilty admissions peppered with red herrings and actual clues pertaining to the crimes committed will read straight to the end. A great choice for fans of Celeste Ng, Gillian Flynn, and Liane Moriarty.”
— Booklist (Starred Review)
“Brilliantly layered, fabulously developed, and interesting characters, and twists and turns galore all made for a compelling read I couldn’t put down. Add to that Robyn’s wry wit and dark sense of humour that made me laugh out loud, and this is definitely a summer hit. I loved it!”
— HANNAH MARY McKINNON, bestselling author of Sister Dear and You Will Remember Me
“Harding wields deep community ties like a garrote and redefines terror in suburbia. Breathless pacing and an inescapable sense of menace make Harding’s latest an absolute must-read that will scare the hell out of you as only Harding can. This one’s a stunner.”
— P.J. VERNON, author of Bath Haus and When You Find Me
“A propulsive, constantly surprising read that both entertains and chills—and makes the reader question whether they really know not only their neighbours, but their own family. From the opening page to the shocking last line, I was hooked.”
— LAURIE ELIZABETH FLYNN, bestselling author of The Girls Are All So Nice Here
“Edgy, diabolical, and completely suspenseful! The talented Robyn Harding peels back the sleek facade of suburbia to show its disturbing reality—and all the dangerous (and sometimes heartbreaking) secrets that even loving families keep from each other. Incredibly cinematic and jaw-droppingly devious, this book will have you turning the pages as fast as you can.”
— HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN, USA Today bestselling author of The First to Lie
“Unsettling and darkly sublime, Robyn Harding deftly explores twisted family dynamics and devastating secrets in suburbia in this stunning novel that will shock readers by the final page. The Perfect Family explores a perfect family’s perfect façade, and how even perfect lies can become perfect nightmares. A mesmerizing, compulsively readable thriller, this one smoulders from the first page to the last.”
— CHRISTINA McDONALD, USA Today bestselling author of The Night Olivia Fell
“[A] highly entertaining domestic thriller . . . The brisk plot takes several clever twists before building to a shocking act of violence. Harding is sure to win new fans with this one.”
— Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
“This is a burn-through-it beach read if ever there was one. . . . A classic “things-are-not-what-they-appear” story. In this case, parents Thomas and Viv have nice jobs, a beautiful home and kids. Then one day their shiny life starts to develop cracks as they’re targeted by what they think at first is a group of bored, crummy teen vandals. News flash: It’s not.”
— Vancouver Sun
“Excellent psychological suspense . . . [Harding’s] best so far. . . . This is an excellent cottage weekend book.”
— The Globe and Mail