All the best cowboys have mummy issues: The Good Son by You-jeong Jeong

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When a book or movie is called “The Good Son” – you immediately know something will be wrong. The Good Son is not an exception. From the first page, it takes you into an eerie murder scene, Yu-Jin finds his mother brutally murdered downstairs in their two storey flat and oh boy, we understand something is very crooked.

Stuck in this bloody murder scene, Yu-Jin forces to remember what has happened. As he moves inside the flat to find answers to what happened and starts to take actions, the sense of something being terribly wrong doesn’t go away- until leaving the reader stunned to find out why later in the book.

Yu-Jin lives with her adapted brother Hae-Jin and their mum, the victim. There is also their auntie, who seems to be shadowing the relationship between Yu-Jin and his mother. The novel is really between these four characters, Yu-Jin’s flawed narration bringing all the good flavours in this perfectly bleak and eerie psychological crime thriller.

The pace of the book is very slow in the beginning, I was a bit disappointed when I got through 20% and Yu-Jin was still in the flat, the bloody murder scene. Then things started to get real interesting, so please get ready to invest time into this novel – don’t give up. It’s worth it.

It doesn’t have a shocking ending, as the plot reveal is made a bit before the ending- but the reveal is definitely shocking. I have been a lover of Korean horror movies, always taken aback by the grittiness, the emotional horror packed into their shocking stories. This is the first Korean Crime fiction I have read and I am glad I did! Definitely would look more to read from You-jeong Jeong.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and will give 4 stars.

A word of caution, this book has bloody scenes, so if your stomach can’t handle it- take this as a warning. Otherwise this is a perfect read for the psychological crime/thriller lovers.

Thanks to NetGalley and Little Brown for a physical copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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