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Penguin: Adult Hardcover & Trade Paperback Summer 2019

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The Perfect Son
By (author): Lauren North
9781984803849 Paperback, Trade English General Trade FICTION / Thrillers / Psychological Aug 13, 2019
$22.00 CAD
Active 5.46 x 8.26 x 0.92 in 368 pages Berkley
A disturbing and shocking debut novel of psychological suspense about a recently widowed mother, her young son, and the lengths she’ll go to in order to keep him safe…

When Tess Clarke wakes up in the hospital the day after her son Jamie’s eighth birthday, she’s sure of these things: She’s been stabbed, her son is missing, her brother-in-law and her grief counselor are involved, and no one is listening to her.

A few months earlier, Tess’s husband, Mark, died suddenly in a terrible accident. The only thing keeping her together is her young son, Jamie. As she and Jamie struggle to make sense of their new life without Mark, they find joy in brief moments of normalcy—walking to school, watching television together, going to the beach. Although some things may be difficult—like paying back a loan to Mark’s increasingly impatient brother, Ian, and appeasing the grief counselor, Shelley, whom Tess’s mother sent to check on her—Tess has Jamie, and that’s what matters.

But there in the hospital, confused and surrounded by doctors who won’t listen, everything Tess has tried so hard to cling to begins to fall apart. If she wants to save her son, Tess must piece together what happened between Mark’s death and Jamie’s birthday, but the truth might just be too much for her to bear…

Story Locale: Chelmsford (outside of London), England

IMPRESSIVE DEBUT TALENT: Lauren North has crafted an engrossing and powerful psychological suspense debut that pulls you in from the first page

EMOTIONAL AND SUSPENSEFUL HOOK: The opening pages of this novel plunge readers straight into the mystery of “Where is Jamie” that is skillfully carried throughout to the shocking ending; at the same time, it feeds on the deeply emotional fear of a missing child

UK PUBLICATION: This will also be published in summer 2019 by Transworld (PRH UK) as The Perfect Betrayal

PREEMPT: We were so excited about Lauren North that we preempted this and a second novel

Lauren North studied psychology before moving to London, where she lived and worked for many years. She now lives with her family in the Suffolk countryside. The Perfect Son is her first novel, and she’s working on her second.

Author Residence: Suffolk, England

Marketing: Prepub trade advertising

Online advertising campaign

Promotion at conventions

E-mail marketing campaign

ARC distribution and giveaways

Goodreads campaign

NetGalley campaign

Early reader review campaign

Social media campaign

Consumer sweepstakes

Feature on PRH programs and verticals First to Read

Publicity: National print publicity

Online publicity campaign

Author blog tour

Author Website:

Author Social Media:; Twitter @Lauren_C_North

Praise for The Perfect Son

“[A] perfect summer thriller…The author’s ability to create a sense of escalating unease is one of her most notable achievements….The twist in The Perfect Son is a big one.”—The Columbus Dispatch 

“[An] emotionally harrowing debut…an intimate, unbalancing mix of grief, paranoia, gaslighting, maternal protectiveness, and profound compassion.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A powerful, unpredictable debut thriller about a mother’s attempt to reassemble her life from the shards of tragedy. Lauren North’s skillful narrative casts everyone as a suspect and keeps the reader guessing until the final, emotion-packed pages.”—David Bell, USA Today bestselling author of Layover

“The thriller is told in two alternating time periods that come together at the very end, with a very big twist.”—
“A fast-paced psychological thriller.”—BookRiot

“A heart-rending evocation of grief that packs a devious punch. It left me reeling.”—Lesley Kara, author of the international bestseller The Rumor
“As satisfyingly intriguing and page-turning as you could possibly want. An emotional read—the end is a shocker!”—Emma Curtis, author of When I Find You
“Beautifully written psychological suspense about the power of love after a life-changing loss. A sense of impending doom and foreboding gripped me from the first page….The ending is stunning and powerful.”—Mary Torjussen, author of The Girl I Used To Be

“A captivating, suspenseful thriller that draws you in—with a twist that will take your breath away.”—T.M. Logan, author of Lies

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