Thanks to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review review.
Release Date: Available Now
Synopsis: What first appears to be a random home invasion reveals a family’s dark secrets in this domestic ticking-clock suspense from the New York Times bestselling author of See Jane Run.
A hostile relationship with her sister and a complicated past with her father’s second wife have kept Robin estranged from her family for many years. But when her father’s new family is attacked in their house, with her father, his wife, and young daughter in critical condition in the hospital, she returns home to await their fate and hopefully mend fences. It looks like a robbery gone awry, but as Robin spends more time with her family members, she learns they all have their secrets—-and one of those secrets may have put them all in horrible danger.
Joy fielding has been one of my favorite authors in the genres of mystery, suspense, and thrillers, but I have to admit that despite the exciting sounding premise, The Bad Daughter was disappointing for me.
The pace was much slower than what I’ve come to expect from this prolific author. It’s a domestic drama (which most of her books are), with a mystery thrown in, but not much of the suspense that I’ve come to expect from her. None of the characters are well developed, but the one who annoyed me the most was Robin. She was entirely too bland and passive for me, and I was unable to connect with her despite her suffering from panic and anxiety attacks. The majority of the story focuses on Robin’s dysfunctional relationship with her one-dimensional angry and aggressive sister Melanie. I would have liked a couple of the secondary characters to have been given bigger roles, especially Blake who was the sole voice of reason, but alas, it never happened.
To me, the villain was fairly obvious early on, and I couldn’t believe no one guessed who it was, particularly Robin, as she’s a therapist. There’s some weak reasoning provided to try to explain this, but I just didn’t buy it so the ending turned out to be anticlimactic for me.
While The Bad Daughter wasn’t my favorite novel by Joy Fielding, she’s been a bestselling author for over four decades, so I’m by no means giving up on her. I’m already looking forward to her next novel.