Daughter by Kate McLaughlin #bookreview #YA #psychologicalthriller #TuesdayBookBlog

Scarlet’s life is pretty average. Overly protective mom. Great friends. Cute boy she’s interested in. And a father she’s never known – until she does.

When the FBI show up at Scarlet’s door, she is shocked to learn her father is infamous serial killer Jeffrey Robert Lake. And now, he’s dying and will only give the names and locations of his remaining victims to the one person, the daughter he hasn’t seen since she was a baby.

Scarlet’s mother has tried to protect her from Lake’s horrifying legacy, but there’s no way they can escape the media firestorm that erupts when they come out of hiding. Or the people who blame Scarlet for her father’s choices. When trying to do the right thing puts her life in danger, Scarlet is faced with a choice – go back into hiding or make the world see her as more than a monster’s daughter.

Kate McLaughlin’s Daughter is a novel about trying right deadly choices that were never yours to begin with.

This description reminded me a bit of the TV show Prodigal Son (still bitter about the whole cancellation thing). The serial killer’s son in that show was an adult, so I was interested to see how the scenario would play out with a teenage girl who didn’t know who her father was.

Scarlet’s family has only consisted of herself and her uber overprotective mother. No extended family and no father in the picture. Her friends and boyfriends are vetted by her mom, and Scarlet only goes on school trips if her mother is a chaperone. She assumes her mother has an extreme case of helicopter parenting, so imagine her shock when she learns (rather abruptly) that her father, Jeff, is an infamous serial killer. He’s dying in prison and will only release the other names of his victims and locations of their bodies to Scarlet. Talk about pressure and stressful situations.

Wanting to bring peace to the families of the victims and because she’s genuinely good person, Scarlet agrees to see him. The meetings between them are intense and dripping with tension – I was on the edge of my seat wondering if Jeff was playing her. You can’t help but think about the scenes with Anthony Hopkins and and Jodie Foster in The Silence of the Lambs. The snippets of articles in between chapters that explain the inner workings of sociopaths’ minds and how they differ from most peoples’ are fascinating and enabled me to understand Jeff’s conversations and reactions to Scarlet.

Something I especially liked about this book is that it brings to light how our society focuses more on the serial killer instead of the victims. This story shows how the lives of Jeff’s family and the victims’ families are affected by his actions.

Daughter isn’t for the faint of heart. Although the murders take place off page, Jeff does go into disturbing detail occasionally about the killings during his conversations with Scarlet. Compelling, chilling, and certainly dark, I’d recommend this novel to fans of psychological thrillers and true crime stories.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

27 thoughts on “Daughter by Kate McLaughlin #bookreview #YA #psychologicalthriller #TuesdayBookBlog

      1. We really are the kiss of death to good TV.

        And no, my birthday buddy did not acknowledge me AGAIN. Sigh. I’m starting to think he’s never going to call and ask to turn my work into a movie that he’ll star in.


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