Many years ago, Robin has left her hometown of Red Bluff and cut all connections with her family. It was when her father married her then best friend and her brother’s fiancée soon after their mother had died of cancer. She simply couldn’t forgive him. In L.A. she started a new life as a therapist and was about to marry Blake. Now, she needs to go back because her father has been fatally wounded, his wife shot dead and the twelve-year-old daughter seriously injured by some gunmen who entered the house at night. Her sister Melanie isn’t very keen on welcoming her back, Robin had always been their mother’s favourite. But now the two have to get along somehow and help the police find the murderer. But they soon figure out that things aren’t that easy and when Melanie’s son and their brother Alec come under suspicion, things are complicated while the real criminal is running free…
Joy Fielding is one of the best-known contemporary thriller writers and “The Bad Daughter” can hold up to the expectations. A cleverly constructed plot, multifaceted characters who do not show their real face immediately and several leads that only lead you to dead ends make a round and sound story.
Setting the story in a dysfunctional family where there are many unsaid things buried under the surface and which can surprise you again and again with the characters’ unexpected yet credible behaviour was definitely a clever step. The fact that you do not really like all the characters just makes them more authentic and the story a lot livelier.
Even though I am not sure if I really find the solution 100 percent convincing, I liked the novel. It is not an absolutely fast-paced and nerve-wrecking thriller, but the looming danger of the perpetrator still being around surely was responsible some goose bumps.