The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry | Book Review

“For eager adoptive parents, getting what they always wanted has chilling consequences”

Spoiler free review

Publication Date: 1st March 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Horror
Pages: 358
Goodreads Rating: 4.09
Amazon Link: Buy on Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★


Christopher and Hannah are a happily married surgeon and nurse with picture-perfect lives. All that’s missing is a child. When Janie, an abandoned six-year-old, turns up at their hospital, Christopher forms an instant connection with her, and he convinces Hannah they should take her home as their own.

But Janie is no ordinary child, and her damaged psyche proves to be more than her new parents were expecting. Janie is fiercely devoted to Christopher, but she acts out increasingly disturbing ways, directing all her rage at Hannah. Unable to bond with Janie, Hannah is drowning under the pressure, and Christopher refuses to see Janie’s true nature.

Hannah knows that Janie is manipulating Christopher and isolating him from her, despite Hannah’s attempts to bring them all together. But as Janie’s behaviour threatens to tear Christopher and Hannah apart, the truth behind Janie’s past may be enough to push them all over the edge.


As soon as I saw this book on Amazon, I knew I have to get it. I am obsessed with spooky thrillers, thrillers that make you jump if you hear a bump in your room whilst you read it, leaving you on the edge of your seat. I was first introduced to this book when a Booktuber named it the scariest thriller they had ever read and, I must say, I have to agree.

Let’s talk about the characters. Hannah Bauer is one of the main characters in this story and, once we get to know her a bit more, we feel really sorry for her. She desperately wants a baby, knowing that her and her husband are more than likely going to have to adopt, so she sets her sights on adopting a baby, wanting to experience holding and nursing one. When Christopher suggests adopting Janie, Hannah feels as though she has to let go of these dreams, and it proved to be a very emotional thing to read.

Christopher Bauer is a rather problematic character. He doesn’t seem attentive to his wife’s calls for help and, when Janie begins acting up, he assures Hannah, who is the brunt of Janie’s aggressive behaviour, that she is just imagining it. A six-year-old girl doesn’t know she is doing wrong. His character becomes quite irritating as he continues to be ignorant towards his wife, returning to work soon after they adopt and leaving Hannah to deal with Janie herself.

Janie is an absolutely terrifying character to read, though she made for a good villain. Her character definitely makes the book more horror than thriller. At no point did I feel sorry for Janie, I didn’t trust her from the start, and it was very enjoyable to watch her character become comfortable enough to show her true side, as sick and twisted as that sounds, she was incredibly evil.

The writing style itself is written through the eyes of a police officer, who is interviewing Piper Goldstein, who works for the children’s services, Hannah Bauer herself, and Christopher Bauer. The writing was quite descriptive, and every word counted towards the story, that’s to say, information wasn’t thrown in randomly to up the word count. Each chapter was clearly labelled and it made for a smooth read, flowing nicely.

One of the problems I had with this book was the ending. I am all for dramatic endings that leave you wondering what happened, but this book seemed to end very randomly and way too quickly for me. After a quick look on Goodreads, I can see that many others readers felt the same way.

I ended up giving this book four stars. I really enjoyed it and read it in one sitting, though the ending left me with a LOT of questions and I’d of liked at least one more chapter to wrap it up. It felt as though there was still more to the book. That being said, I would definitely recommend this book.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

5 thoughts on “The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry | Book Review

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