Book review: My Husband’s Son by Deborah O’Connor

Monday, December 12, 2016 Permalink

The premise of this book isn’t unusual… it seems I read A LOT of books about children who’ve gone missing and may or may not reappear years later. Or there’s suspicion their disappearance involved someone close to home. Etcetera.

You’d think I’d shy away from these kinds of books… having read so many, but nope… give me long lost children or family secrets and I’m in.

Book review: My Husband’s Son by Deborah O’ConnorMy Husband's Son
by Deborah O'Connor
Published by Bonnier Zaffre
on November 23rd 2016
Source: Allen & Unwin
Genres: Thriller / Suspense, Psychological Thriller
ISBN: 9781785761959, 9781785761942
Pages: 352

Heidi and Jason aren't like other couples.

Six years ago, Heidi's daughter was murdered. A year later, Jason's son Barney disappeared. Their shared loss brought them together.

By chance, Heidi meets a boy she's certain is Barney.

But Jason is equally convinced it's not him.

Is Heidi mad? Or is Jason hiding something? And can their fragile marriage survive Heidi's newfound quest for the truth . . .

We learn early on that Heidi lost her daughter but O’Connor does a good job at eking out the detail. There’s no great reveal, but it means we don’t dwell on the death… and remain a tad suspicious of Heidi.

Heidi fully supports Jason in his ongoing search for his son, however it’s taking its toll as false sighting after false sighting results in him becoming disenfranchised and fragile.

Heidi is sure the boy she sees is Barney, so she can’t understand Jason’s certainty that it isn’t, or his reticence to even look into the boy’s history.

We learn more about Barney’s disappearance – the police’s initial suspicion of Jason and his former wife – and how it destroyed their relationship; and we start to see his once supportive and understanding relationship with Heidi crumble under the pressure.

I enjoyed the first half of this book, but then Heidi’s behaviour became increasingly erratic and unrealistic. I thought the author was prepping us for her to seriously go off the rails…. and she did. Kinda. But not in the way I was expecting.

Having said that O’Connor doesn’t go with cookie-cutter characters who are all good / all bad. We’re privy to their shades of grey being revealed as we learn more about them and the loss of their children.

There’s a twist of sorts in the end, but I found myself a little dissatisfied at the conclusion. I didn’t expect a happy ending, but wasn’t entirely convinced of its feasibility… but that’s just me and my need for closure. For the most part this was a tense and well-paced tale of suspense.

My Husband’s Son by Deborah O’Connor was published in Australia by Allen and Unwin and is now available.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.

Are you a fan of the psychological thriller?

  • Stormi D Johnson
    December 12, 2016

    There are a lot of those kid goes missing books as I am just starting an audio called Chasing the Dead by Tim Weaver who has a premise like that. 🙂

    • Debbish
      December 15, 2016

      Sometimes it seems most of the thrillers / suspense novels I read involve some kind of childhood trauma or event Stormi!

  • Kate W
    December 12, 2016

    I invariably find thrillers disappointing – think I spend too much time at the beginning of the book trying to predict the outcome, rather than allowing myself to get swept along with the story.

    • Debbish
      December 15, 2016

      Ah yes… I like to try to work out whodunnit so love it when I’m unable to!

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