Book club book review – Under Her Care by Lucinda Berry


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.

My Review

This was a bonus book for May in the Novels&Natter bookclub as it was an Amazon first read. I finished it a while ago but I’ve been sitting on my thoughts and struggling to find the right words to do it justice in a review and not give away too much.

Lots of the characters had assumptions and as a reader I did too. Now I am a mum of two and although they are now grown you don’t forget or give up the protective instinct. But while I also gave mine the freedom to make mistakes and find their own paths, Genevieve barely gave hers the space to breath. Helicopter parent, pushy mother, pageant mum, are terms that not only describe her but seem to define her.

So when her, big for his size, son Mason who has autism is found with the dead body of the mayor’s wife and the police struggle to get any information from him they call in expert Casey. Her daughter also has autism but could she be placing her own family in danger by getting involved?

Then there is “the monster” who Genevieve swears is the real culprit. With an unknown narrator also giving random thoughts it is hard to know if Mason is guilty as the police and town believe or innocent as his mum protests. Seeing it through Casey’s eyes as she starts to get to the truth I still had my doubts but then the kicker happened and while you may not know who the monster is you certainly find out that there is a monster, even if it’s not the one you think.

While my review is probably mega confusing, the book itself isn’t. This may be a thriller but it is also a really good character study. Genevieve and Savannah were everything I hoped for and more as I’ve always found mother and daughter relationships fascinating due to my own with my mum and also with my daughters. Looking at mine the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree there either.

About the author

Dr. Lucinda Berry is a former clinical psychologist and leading researcher in childhood trauma. Now, she spends her days writing full-time where she uses 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 release The Secrets of Us, visit her on Facebook or sign up for her newsletter at

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