Girl Unknown by Karen Perry #BookReview

About the book…

‘I think you might be my father . . .’

When first-year student Zoë Barry walks into Professor David Connolly’s office and tentatively says these words, he is left reeling. But it is the lives of his family – particularly his wife Caroline – which are turned upside down by the arrival of this stranger.

A daughter, a sister, a friend . . . an enemy?

Though no one knows quite who Zoë is, she is soon entangled in their lives. Yet her stories don’t ring true and Caroline is determined to learn if the girl is the unlucky innocent she claims to be or someone with a far darker agenda.

A deadly cuckoo in the nest . . .

Because by letting Zoë in, David and Caroline aren’t just leaving themselves vulnerable. They’re risking the most precious thing in the world – the lives of their children . . .

My review…

The Boy That Never Was by Karen Perry was a favourite book of mine back in 2014 so I was keen to read Girl Unknown, even though I hadn’t been as enamoured with Only We Know. But Girl Unknown was right back up there as a first rate psychological domestic noir!

When Zoe walks into David’s office, and tells him she thinks he is her father, it comes as a HUGE shock. But David is a good bloke, a loving husband and father and he wants to do the right thing and develop a relationship with his new daughter. And David really does want to make it up to Zoe for not having been there when she needed him but unfortunately Zoe isn’t quite what she first appears!

I do love a dysfunctional family, don’t you? David and Caroline were ripe for the picking really when this cuckoo came calling. Their marriage hadn’t quite recovered from an earlier dalliance and when trust isn’t 100% it’s so much easier to divide and conquer. David seemed to be taken in fully by Zoe but I’m sure if he had striped back the guilt he would have been more aware of who he was letting into his family home. I couldn’t garner the slightest bit of sympathy for Zoe even when things became clearer about her background. But then I’m a woman and its not the women she’s out to bewitch here!

There was always a dark, slightly unpleasant, undertone throughout this book and I was constantly on the edge of my seat just waiting for something rather unsavoury to happen. I never became totally attached to David and Caroline but that’s not to say I wanted bad things to happen to them, just that I was quite happy to sit back and see how far Zoe would go! The only member of the family I did feel very protective of was 11 year old Holly, previously a daddy’s girl who seemed to struggle the most with the arrival of a new half sister.

As the storyline twisted towards its shocking climax and the entire family seemed set to fall apart, I really couldn’t imagine how they would ever get back to their previous cosy existence and the author certainly kept us guessing right up till the end. I found it impossible to judge exactly what was about to happen as the pages flew past with that feeling of being in a nightmare you were unable to wake-up from. It’s definitely an intriguing family drama, played out to chilling effect here even though there was a strange feeling of relief to actually get to the end!

This is another atmospheric page turner from Karen Perry which I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.

Girl Unknown is out now published by Penguin Michael Joseph UK and is available here at Amazon UK.

Meet the author…

Karen Perry is the pen name of crime writing duo Paul Perry and Karen Gillece who both live in Ireland. Their latest novel, Girl Unknown, is published this year and follows Only We Know and The Boy That Never Was which was selected for the Simon Mayo Radio 2 book club, both wereSunday Times bestsellers.


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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

8 thoughts on “Girl Unknown by Karen Perry #BookReview”

  1. This sounds so good! Your review was great, and I like the feel of this book you provided. I love building suspense throughout the whole story. It defiantly sounds like it grabs your attention throughout the whole book.

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