cover image The Trophy Child

The Trophy Child

Paula Daly. Grove, $25 (352p) ISBN 978-0-8021-2594-1

Investigating the disappearance of 10-year-old Brontë Bloom plunges Det. Sgt. Joanne Aspinall into the emotional whirlpool of one seriously dysfunctional family—a family to which, she’s shocked to discover, she has an intimate connection—in Daly’s absorbing domestic thriller, her fourth novel set in the Lake District (after 2015’s The Mistake I Made). The detective encounters immediate pushback from Brontë’s proudly self-proclaimed “tiger mom” Karen, who’s quick to lambaste just about every member of her household, particularly her sensitive but troubled teen stepdaughter, Verity, and her henpecked physician husband, Noel, who left Verity’s now-MS-stricken mother for her. Then a second Bloom goes missing, and Joanne has to face the possibility that her undisclosed relationship might have seriously compromised her professional judgment. Though a little Karen goes quite a long way, more sympathetic characters, such as Joanne and Verity, plus some unexpected plot twists and sly commentary on the bourgeois milieu, will keep readers turning the pages. [em]Agent: Jane Gregory, Gregory & Company (U.K.). (Mar.) [/em]