REVIEW: THE GOOD SON, BY JACQUELYN MITCHARD

What do you do when the person you love best becomes unrecognizable to you? For Thea Demetriou, the answer is both simple and agonizing: you keep loving him somehow.

Stefan was just seventeen when he went to prison for the drug-fueled murder of his girlfriend, Belinda. Three years later, he’s released to a world that refuses to let him move on. Belinda’s mother, once Thea’s good friend, galvanizes the community to rally against him to protest in her daughter’s memory. The media paints Stefan as a symbol of white privilege and indifferent justice. Neighbors, employers, even some members of Thea’s own family turn away.

Meanwhile Thea struggles to understand her son. At times, he is still the sweet boy he has always been; at others, he is a young man tormented by guilt and almost broken by his time in prison. But as his efforts to make amends meet escalating resistance and threats, Thea suspects more forces are at play than just community outrage. And if there is so much she never knew about her own son, what other secrets has she yet to uncover—especially about the night Belinda died?

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After Thea’s son is convicted and sent to prison, I was catapulted into the terrifying world she faces in The Good Son. Even after he has served his prison sentence and been released, Thea struggles to understand how the son she raised and loved could have done what he was accused and convicted of. There are so many unanswered questions.

But Stefan tries to move on and starts a community group that focuses on amends and healing.

Meanwhile, an unknown caller stalks Thea, hinting at secrets she has and offering to give her information. But she constantly evades Thea. A thin stalker with a terrifying aura also haunts the family.

Belinda’s mother, who was once Thea’s friend, has organized a group of protestors who are always there, in front of Thea’s home, showing up at events, and making the family’s life a living hell.

Just when Thea has begun to sort out the stalkers and question the messages, something totally unexpected happens that changes everything she believes.

I was suspicious about several characters and kept waiting for the reveal that could bring all the answers. When it happened, it was stunning and turned all their lives upside down. A 5 star read.

***

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