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review 2017-03-06 13:22
The Trophy Child
The Trophy Child: A Novel - Paula Daly

By:  Paula Daly

ISBN: 9780802125941

Publisher: Grove Atlantic

Publication Date: 3/7/2017

Format: Other

My Rating: 3 Stars


Paula Daly returns following The Mistake I Made landing on my Top Books of 2015, with her fourth and latest domestic suspense THE TROPHY CHILD with an array of dysfunction and madness, mixed with mystery.

Our favorite DS Joanne Aspinall (from previous books), revisits—always finding herself in the middle of trouble and mischief.

Karen Bloom (achievement-obsessed) is a tiger mom to ten- year-old Bonte. Karen is married to womanizer Noel and does not pay much attention to her stoner son, Ewan, and her teenage stepdaughter, Verity (drug possession). She had to agree to weekly onsite drug tests and counseling sessions.

Of course, Karen compares the other two children, to her precious Bonte. Brontë goes missing, and Karen is, of course, crazy with worry, since her daughter is her life.

Karen did not care that people called her a tiger mom. She was proud of it “It was an easy way to justify their own lazy lives, their own acceptance of mediocrity.”

And Karen was very sorry, but she wasn’t having that for Bronte. It was her duty to prepare her daughter for the life ahead of her in the best way she knew how.

Life was a competition. Only the best and the brightest succeeded, and if that meant Karen had to put her own hopes and dreams on the back burner, while she invested everything she had in Bronte’s future, so be it.

In the meantime, we catch up with Joanne, joining secondchance.com and her share of bad men and dating. She is always good for a few laughs.

Joanne is called in to investigate when Bronte goes missing from Windermere. She soon learns and is shocked to find a connection to Noel. (Seamus-whom she had gone to bed with six nights previously). She had no idea he was married. She had sex with the father of a missing child. Not cool.

Noel is a small-town GP. He had to be careful so as not to run into his patients. There was his first wife, then Karen. Second marriage problems, and stepchildren.

The child returns unhurt, (where was she), but not before Karen has stirred up all sorts of problems and outrage. Then Karen turns up murdered. Not liked by many, did Noel kill his wife? Was she sleeping around? There is a long line of suspects.

Now Joanne must find the killer and figure out what happened to Bronte. Was the same person involved?

A crazy bunch, this was my least favorite of all Daly’s books. I have read all her books and each has been 5-star, except for this one. Too much drama and not enough likable characters, except for Joanne (she is always a spark); however, beginning to question even her choices.

Fans of Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies may enjoy the dysfunction, drama and dark humor.

A special thank you to Grove Atlantic and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/09/03/The-Trophy-Child
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review 2017-01-31 01:31
The Trophy Child: A Novel - Paula Daly

Wow, I wish Karen was my mother, not. This woman, Karen, expected 200% out of all the children. The family was made up of Ewan, her son from another marriage, Verity, her new husband's son from another marriage and Bronte, the daughter from her current marriage. Since she couldn't rule Ewan and Verity as much as she would like, Bronte got the biggest brunt of her tiger mother attitude.

Bronte had so many activities going it was crazy. Not only did she have to excel at one musical instrument, she had to play horn and piano. She also had to take dance lessons as well several other extra curricular activities. She also has her regular school activities as well. Bronte is 10 years old.

When Karen ends up missing, her car found half burnt on the side of the road with the keys and her purse inside the car, her body missing. Eventually they find her body in the lake. The list of suspects is long. The atmosphere in the house is one of relief, like one big breath, a huge boulder has been lifted from their chests.

I would like to say that this book was entertaining and enjoyable. However, there was a lot of sympathy on my part for these poor children, especially Bronte. However, I was mesmerized and shocked, it was like a trainwreck, instead of looking, I couldn't stop reading. So, I guess since the author was writing a thriller, then because I couldn't put it down, the author did a great job!

Huge thanks to Grove Atlantic for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-08-09 19:42
Herzgift: Psychothriller - Paula Daly,Eva Bonné

€ 14,99 [D] 


€ 15,50 [A] |  CHF 20,50* 

(* empf. VK-Preis)


Paperback, KlappenbroschurISBN: 978-3-442-54736-4


Erschienen: 11.04.2016 





Eine glückliche Ehe, zwei hinreißende Töchter und ein florierendes kleines Hotel im englischen Lake District: Natty und Sean Wainwright stehen auf der Sonnenseite des Lebens. Das Glück wird getrübt, als die jüngere Tochter auf der Klassenfahrt schwer erkrankt. Natty macht sich sofort auf den Weg nach Frankreich – nur gut, dass ihre beste Freundin Eve gerade zu Besuch ist und Sean in Nattys Abwesenheit unterstützen kann. Doch als Natty nach zwei Wochen zurückkehrt, erwartet sie ein Albtraum: Eve hat ihr den Mann ausgespannt und ihr Zuhause übernommen. Selbst ihre Töchter werden von Eve umgarnt. Natty ist fassungslos. Die einst so enge Frauenfreundschaft wandelt sich in nackten Hass – und ein mörderischer Zweikampf beginnt ...


Meine Meinung: 

Ich bin auf das Buch aufgrund einer sehr guten Rezension aufmerksam geworden. Das Cover gefällt mir dazu sehr gut, ebenso wie der Titel, er ist im nachhinein sehr passend gewählt.


Der Einstieg in das Buch ist mir nicht ganz so leicht gefallen bis zur Wiederkehr von Natty nach Hause. Da hat mich das Buch dann komplett packen können und ich musste es in einem Rutsch durchlesen. Die Autorin hat es sehr gut geschafft, die Atmosphäre und die Gefühlswelt von Natty zu beschreiben. Ich kam mir teilweise selbst als die betrogene Ehefrau vor. 


Ich fand es auch sehr erschreckend, wie schnell sich Sean von seiner Frau abwendet, nur weil da eine hübsche Frau ist, die ihre Reize spielen lässt. Aber leider muss man ja sagen, dass das durchaus realistisch anzusehen ist.


Die Charaktere fand ich total gut ausgearbeitet, vor allem "die beste Freundin"  Eve war einfach nicht zu überbieten. Sehr realistisch dargestellt fand ich auch die Kinder von Natty und Sean, da Geschwister wirklich sehr unterschiedlich sein können. 


Die Story an sich ist natürlich nichts Neues, aber die Charaktere und der Verlauf der Geschichte, vor allem das sehr toll gemachte Ende, konnten mich wirklich begeistern. 

Alles in allem kann ich hier eine klare Kauf- und Leseempfehlung geben. Mir hat das Buch schöne Lesestunden bereitet. Ich bewerte das Buch mit 5 Sternen, da es mir wirklich sehr gut gefallen hat. 


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review 2016-06-29 02:30
Review: Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly
Just What Kind of Mother Are You? - Paula Daly

Quick review for a somewhat quick read. "Just What Kind of Mother Are You" pretty much falls under my library's recommended literature similar to Gillian Flynn ' s "Gone Girl" but I'd picked it up for the overarching mystery and inspiration behind it. It kept me reading avidly to see where the disappearance would go, though I honestly predicted what would happen early on and who the villain (s) turned out to be. I found most of the characters to be insufferable to follow (save for the detective, who was more than apt to call out people - I liked reading her POV the most though it wasn't featured as often.)

I'll admit it was a read that kept me guessing in places, though. Audiobook was very well narrated and that factored into me enjoying the overall read, but I felt a bit underwhelmed by the dashed off ending and that it really didn't dig as much into the overarching issues behind Kate ' s experience and the disappearance of her child.

Overall: 3/5 stars.

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review 2015-10-24 02:30
Just What Kind of Mother Are You? Review
Just What Kind of Mother Are You? - Paula Daly

4/5 stars
*Disclaimer: I received the book from Goodreads First Reads, all my opinions are my own.*

It's weird how easily I related to someone I have almost nothing in common with. Lisa is the kind of person who does her best but at the end of the day feels it isn't good enough. She drags through life tired, and run down and isn't like some characters in books where I envy their flawlessness. Lisa is human and in that respect I found an easy way to connect with the bok and enjoy the story, even not being a mother myself.

When your daughter's best friend disappears and it's all your fault how will you fix it? It was enjoyable and fast paced enough for me to get through even with the huge reading slump I've been in. I found the writing style engaging, the characters believable, and the storyline intruiging. It would have probably been more suspenseful for me if I was a parent myself.

In the end it was a solid read and an author I wouldn't mind reading again. The reveal worked for me and wasn't too bizarre or obvious, I've heard arguments for both. It fit well with the story Daly set out to tell. If you like psychological thrillers, flawed characters, and a bit of ill-timed drama then I'd say you should read it!

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