The Perfect Family by Robyn Harding

‘I realised that everyone in my family had secrets. And mine might be the worst of all.’

Meet the Adler family: Thomas and Viv and their two teenage children, Eli and Tarryn. A perfect family: attractive, successful, and living in a beautifully restored home. Life is good, apparently.

But perfection quickly unravels. First, their front porch is pelted with eggs. Easily dismissed as a prank, perhaps, but this is only the beginning. A smoke bomb, then slashed tyres, and the Adler family invest in surveillance cameras. But the cameras do not show much, and the police are convinced that the attacks are nothing more (!) than attacks by bored teenagers.

The attacks increase, the violence escalates and each member of the family wonders whether s/he is the cause, or perhaps the target. Every member of the Adler family has a secret, and each secret could provide a reason for the attacks. Each member of the family feels guilty, and each wants to protect the others. Their individual worlds are crumbling: can they unite as a family? The story unfolds through the point of view of each Adler family member.

I kept reading, intrigued to find out who was behind the attacks and why. While I found the Adlers superficial (mostly) and self-absorbed, I do not need to like characters to feel sorry for them. There are a few twists here, and some important issues are touched on (especially in relation to Eli and Tarryn).

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith