Review of THE BAD DAUGHTER by Joy Fielding

THE BAD DAUGHTER is a mystery about a dysfunctional family. Robin has left home and established her own life as a therapist. Melanie has stayed in Red Bluff because she became the caretaker for their mother when she got cancer and she also had an autistic son to care for. Melanie seemed to need whatever little support their father provided for her. Their brother Alec left home and has not returned, even when a home invasion leaves his stepmother dead, his father on the brink of death and his stepsister Cassidy clinging to life. Of course, he has a good reason to be angry with his father since his dad married the woman he was engaged to. Talk about dysfunctional families! Melanie shoots barbed insults at Robin constantly, and it was somewhat irritating that Robin never stood up for herself. As a therapist, Robin should have known that the insults would only escalate until she said something to stop them; instead, Robin continued to retreat and have panic attacks. Although the plot was slow-moving at times, the book kept me interested because I wanted to find out all of the secrets of the family, and they were revealed methodically throughout the book. This book is a mystery in that you don’t find out until the end of the novel who attacked the family and why. There are a lot of suspicions, but I, for one, could not figure it out and was surprised at the end, but in a way that I kind of said to myself, “Oh, yeah, that makes sense!” The novel is well-written, with characters that are appropriately developed and realistic. Some characters are more likable than others, but all are sympathetic characters once their past is revealed. The only character that I really did not understand why he was there other than as a foil was Landon, Melanie’s autistic son who falls under suspicion just because he is a loner. All in all, the book was enjoyable and I look forward to the next twisty mystery from this talented author.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”


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