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Under Her Care: A Thriller Kindle Edition
From the bestselling author of The Perfect Child comes a shocking thriller about the disturbing complexities of a mother’s love and the deadly consequences of unravelling family secrets.
On a humid summer day in Alabama, a mayor’s wife turns up brutally murdered under a railroad bridge. Standing next to her body is fourteen-year-old Mason Hill, the autistic son of former Miss USA Genevieve Hill. The locals are quick to level their verdict on young Mason: he did it.
The town detective calls in local autism expert Casey Walker to consult on the case. At first, Casey tries to keep an open mind. But the more time she spends with Genevieve, the more her unease grows, and she suspects that Genevieve is doing more than just protecting her son.
Casey’s misgivings surrounding Genevieve’s story only intensify when she meets Savannah, Genevieve’s nineteen-year-old daughter. Savannah, as it turns out, has some disturbing secrets of her own. But as Casey dives ever deeper into the Hill family dynamic, her search for the truth leads to another shocking murder—one that shatters her understanding of the human condition in ways she never imagined.
From the Publisher
When the mayor’s wife is brutally murdered, Mason Hill, a young boy with autism, is found standing next to her body. His mother, Genevieve, claims he didn’t do it, but the rest of the town believes otherwise. Troubled by the details of the case, the lead detective calls in local autism expert Casey Walker to consult. As Casey digs into the Hill family’s life, she discovers that Genevieve, a former Miss USA and seemingly upstanding citizen, has only one desire: to preserve her reputation in the community. One thing becomes clear—no one knows the real Genevieve Hill.
Under Her Care is a gut-wrenching examination of narcissism, manipulation, and family. I was glued to the pages until the chilling climax.
—Megha Parekh, Editor
About the Author
Dr. Lucinda Berry is a former psychologist and leading researcher in childhood trauma. Now she writes full time, using her clinical experience to blur the line between fiction and nonfiction. She enjoys taking her readers on a journey through the dark recesses of the human psyche. Her work has been optioned for film and translated into multiple languages.
If Berry isn’t chasing after her son, you can find her running through Los Angeles, prepping for her next marathon. To hear about her upcoming releases and other fun news, visit her on Facebook or sign up for her newsletter at https://lucindaberry.com.
- ASIN : B092VLFPW8
- Publisher : Thomas & Mercer (1 June 2022)
- Language : English
- File size : 7251 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 279 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 2,569 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top review from Australia
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Genre: Psychological mystery
Rating: 4 stars
Under her Care is a standalone psychological mystery novel by bestselling author, Lucinda Berry. I’ve been hearing about this author everywhere recently, so decided to pick up one of her novels to try. Based on the strength of this one, I would definitely say I would go back and read others and any new ones coming out.
The story is told in multiple POV and follows Casey Walker, an psychologist specializing in autism spectrum disorder and Genevieve Hill, mother of 14-year old Mason who is accused of murdering local girl after he is found standing next to the body. The story is part-amateur detective novel, part psychological fiction. The book touches on themes around motherhood, autism, child development, and the human psyche. You can see Lucinda’s background as a psychologist and researcher into childhood trauma coming through. You can tell she knows her stuff.
I quite enjoyed this one and it had me hooked early on. I had guessed the direction the book was going to take but it had a few interesting twists and turns along the way. It was easy to read and I read it pretty quickly.
Top reviews from other countries
On the upside, the author uses her considerable knowledge of dealing with children within the autism spectrum to good use. I did learn a few facts from the reading of the book.
Her ‘take’ on what constitutes a thriller, though, is sadly lacking. There are too many implausible events and loose ends, particularly the ending which was a complete letdown. There’s no explanation as to why the Mayer’s wife was killed, which is the nub of the storyline. The police-so called- investigation has a giant hole in it. The crime investigator is useless. The victims and aftermath are completely ignored.
All in all, I’m being generous by giving two stars instead of one but I’ve considered the actual medical facts which raised the standing a little.
Local Autism expert Casey Walker is asked to assist the police as a Consultant ,a big part of this role involving engaging with Mason and Genevieve. Very disturbed by what she suspects Casey but with the police seemingly not listening Casey decides to investigate on her own.
Author ,and Doctor,Lucinda Berry is a former clinical psychologist and leading researcher in childhood trauma and this book often comes across as a basic primer in both. While both of the authors specialisms do play a big part in the story there's "background" and there's an excess of information in what is supposed to be entertainment. This is almost a case history with a rather implausible story woven around it.
The book revolves around a handful of main characters with important secondary characters barely-drawn. There's no credible reason for the murder,an explanation yes but one that is less a revelation than a furrowed brow and "okaaaaaaay" moment.
When the plot involves children with Autism and how that can affect them and their parents Dr Berry is on familiar ground and while it feels that she's lost sight that the book is supposed to be a thriller for a few chapters the writing is tight and believable. Away from that the rest is lightweight and full of holes,it almost reads as if a different author has taken over the writing and it completely lost me at the end.
Autism is not something you have or sit 'with' as it is not an illness or acquired. Autistic is something we are. Proudly. Couldn't read any further after this.
The Perfect Child, Saving Noah, Phantom Limb, Appetite For Innocence and the rarely mentioned Missing Parts are amongst my favourites.
Under Her Care has been one of my most anticipated books since I read Secrets Of Us and then quickly binged all of her other books.
This is something very, very different. Genevieve is the former beauty pageant queen, mother to Mason, a severely autistic non-verbal teen with a mental age of four. When walking in the woods Mason is found distressed, covered in blood, next to a recently murdered woman's body.
Casey Walker, is the clinical expert on autism brought in by the Police to try and unlock Mason's mind to find out what really happened.
At the start I wondered if this was going to be like Saving Noah, with a mother striving to protect her son, but it very quickly goes off in very different directions.
It's very moving, there are deep reflections on autism, and unseen disabilities in children and the impacts they have on families. There are some great characters, and interactions, the cop who wants to pin the murder on Mason and Casey, determined to find a way to get Mason to open up.
It's wasn't the Lucinda Berry thriller I was expecting, but it is a really good book with a very original plot and fully developed characters.
The finale and reveals are brilliant and shocking, one of those books that linger and grow the more you think about it.
This story is dominated by the police finding enough evidence to charge Mason with the murder of the mayor's wife. Bringing in a specialist in children with autism, Casey is given the responsibility of encouraging Mason to talk away from the watchful eye of his mother. However, at every step of the investigation, it is like Genevieve is playing the police and remaining in control, despite the evidence suggesting he killed someone. Therefore, it is like Mason is already guilty and the police investigation is a mere formality. I felt it to be one-dimensional because minimal attention is given to the victim herself: we learn hardly anything about the mayor's wife and whether there could be any other suspects who might want to see her dead. I thought this frustrating and made the story less believable, wondering if the police would really go to this extreme to pin the murder on a disabled child.
At the same time, Berry explores the lengths a parent will go to support and protect their child. I liked seeing the parallels drawn between Casey and Genevieve's characters, even down to their behaviours. Neither seem to recognise some of these connections and the scene in the supermarket car park felt like a pivotal moment between the two women. In my opinion, not only was this scene the catalyst for finally getting some answers in the investigation, it also signified how similar the two women were.
Throughout the novel, I found the emphasis on Mason's diagnosis to be a bit repetitive. I wanted there to be more elements to the story, such as investigating other potential suspects in the murder enquiry. Therefore, when Casey makes contact with Genevieve's daughter, I thought this made the story more interesting and allowed readers to explore the Hill family dynamics. On reflection, I wish Savannah had more of a prominent role in the story because I thought she provided an interesting insight and more questions into Genevieve and Mason's relationship.
This was a pretty good story but, once answers started being revealed (which I thought were a long time coming), I did think it was far-fetched in places. For instance, the passing reference to Genevieve's behaviour in South Africa felt undeveloped and irrational. Furthermore, I was shocked at how little intervention there was with Mason's diagnosis, which was heavily juxtaposed with how quickly social services appeared in the main story. This meant I found I had little sympathy for Genevieve and disliked how much attention was given to her character.
Overall, I did enjoy this story but do not think it was as good as my last read from Berry. There were peaks and troughs of suspense in the plot, making it far less of a thrilling page-turner than I was hoping for.