Joseph Souza’s new novel is fantastic

Joseph Souza of Portland is an award-winning novelist and one of my favorites, but I’ve got to say I think his new novel, The Perfect Daughter, is his best yet.

Souza was an intelligence analyst for the drug enforcement agency in Washington DC, which probably gave him some good ideas for his novels.

His new novel includes a bunch of very real characters including two teenage girls who get into a horrible mess of trouble. It features a mother and a local cop who were drawn into the dark underbelly of their Maine town. The disappearance of a teenage boy sets everyone on edge.

That Maine town was once a small rural town, full of lobstermen, until all the ocean-side property was purchased by rich people from away who built mansions. Yes, there’s a dose of reality in this book.

I think Souza did a particularly good job of developing his characters, both real Mainers and those rich people.

One book review noted that “each secret seems to lead to another,” and that is very true. Another review called this “a subtle power keg,” and that’s true too. And I like this description which was printed in the Kennebec Journal: “a complex tale of malice and mayhem, suspenseful and loaded with misdirection and surprising plot twists.”

There are lots of twists and turns as the plot progresses, and you’ll have a hard time putting the book down before you get to the end of the story.

So set some time aside to enjoy this 359 page engrossing story, published by Kensington Publishing Corp. It will be available on April 28.


George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.