The Trophy Child | Penguin Random House Canada

The Trophy Child

Publisher: Doubleday Canada
There's nothing quite like a mother's love . . . but how much is too much before maternal ambition for a perfect child jeopardizes the delicate balance of family life and threatens its very existence?

Paula Daly is acclaimed for her distinctive voice, masterful plotting and terrifying depictions of ordinary people whose everyday lives are turned upside down through deception and betrayal. In her unsettling new domestic thriller, The Trophy Child, Daly digs beneath the serene surface of the idyllic Lake District community, delivering a suspenseful story of motherhood and fallibility.
     Karen Bloom is not the coddling mother type. She believes in raising her children for success. Some in the neighborhood call her assertive, others say she's driven, but in gossiping circles she's known as "the tiger mother." Karen believes that tough discipline is the true art of parenting and that achievement leads to ultimate happiness. She expects her husband and her children to perform at 200 percent--no matter the cost. But in the midst of her quest for excellence, her seemingly flawless family starts to rebel against her.
     Her husband, Noel, is a handsome doctor with a proclivity for alcohol and women. Their prodigy daughter, Bronte, is excelling at school, music lessons and dance classes, yet she longs to run away. Verity, Noel's teenage daughter from his first marriage, is starting to display aggressive behavior. And Karen's son from a previous relationship embraces the aimless stoner lifestyle. When tragedy strikes the Blooms, Karen's carefully constructed facade begins to fall apart--and once the deadly cracks appear, they are impossible to stop.
     A thrilling tale of ambition and murder, Daly's richly imagined world of suburban striving and motherly love is an absorbing page-turner about the illusions of perfection and the power games between husband and wife, parent and child.


"Daly, a master of psychological thrillers, has written another gem. Thriller and suspense lovers will delight in this fast-paced novel with its twists and turns." —Library Journal, starred review

"Fluffy enough to read in one sitting; ruthless enough to suggest that some people deserve what they get." —Kirkus Reviews

"Paula Day bases her intricate, emotional domestic noir in seemingly ordinary suburbia and, set in the idyllic Lake District, The Trophy Child shows the turmoil underlying perfection. . . . While this is family life at its darkest, Daly's multifaceted but unlikeable characters are still shockingly relatable. The result is a fast-paced, enjoyable and suspenseful drama." —Daily Express (UK)

"A crackling good read. Hard to put down." ―Joy Fielding, New York Times bestselling author of Someone Is Watching

"Absorbing. . . . [Daly] will keep readers turning the pages." —Publishers Weekly

"A tale of secrecy, control and the depths of motherly love. . . . An enjoyable, well-written tale whose ending readers will not see coming." —Booklist 

"A terrific page turner." —The Guardian (UK)

"What begins as a seemingly common tale of family falling-out, focusing on the archetypal role of the pushy parent and the overworked child, unravels to reveal a surprising and gripping read. . . . Daly expertly crafts a thriller from within the walls of domestic life and shows how tragedy uproots the illusions and pretences of idyllic family life." —The Irish News

"Entertaining and insightful. . . . The perfect gift for the pushy parent in your life." —Daily Mail (UK)

Praise for Paula Daly:

 • "Paula Daly gets the action moving on the first page. . . . This taut page-turner of a novel torques every parent's nightmare." --Maclean's on Just What Kind of Mother Are You?
 • "This novel starts out as a formulaic suspenser but has many more layers and satisfactions than expected." --Toronto Star on Keep Your Friends Close
 • "This electrifying thriller combines both Daly's masterful eye for psychological suspense and her astute ability to portray ordinary family life under extraordinary circumstances." --Condo Elite Modern Living on The Mistake I Made