The Good Son by You-jeong Jeong

The Good Son

The Talented Mr. Ripley meets The Bad Seed in this breathless, chilling psychological thriller by the bestselling novelist known as "Korea's Stephen King" Who can you trust if you can't trust yourself?Early one morning, twenty-six-year-old Yu-jin wakes up to a strange metallic smell, and a phone call from his brother asking if everything's all right at home - he missed a call from their mother in the middle of the night. Yu-jin soon discovers her...

Details The Good Son

TitleThe Good Son
Release DateJun 5th, 2018
PublisherPenguin Books
GenreFiction, Thriller, Mystery, Horror, Crime

Reviews The Good Son

  • Andrew Smith
    This is one of those books where I really don't want to give too much away. It's a claustrophobic, tense and surprising tale of a few days in the life of a twenty-six-year-old male student. Yu-jin, awakes one day, in his home, afraid that he’s had a seizure. He's clearly had these before and feels that this might account for his feelings of disorientation. What happened the night before? He can't recall. He's soon to discover the surprising tru...
  • Liz Barnsley
    The Good Son is a novel that rewards it’s readers – a slow burner of a tale, creepy as you like, based around one single character – Yu-jin – who wakes up one morning and finds himself covered in blood and his Mother dead downstairs…but did he kill her? Well that is the question….Yu-jin has his problems. Epileptic, frequently off his meds, suffering from fugue states, he explores his memory, his past and his present trying to discover...
  • j e w e l s [Books Bejeweled]
    FOUR STARSI love to read crime fiction from other countries and THE GOOD SON is the bestselling thriller in South Korea for good reason. This story is told entirely from the killer's point of view and it's a slow burning, in-depth character analysis of a psychopathic killer. This is a WHYdunnit, not a WHOdunnit. There are not any shocking American-style twists involved, and you will easily see the ending reveal coming. I love the culture switch-u...
  • Abby (Crime by the Book)
    Find my full review here:, LOVED this harrowing & gripping read. The author takes readers inside the mind of a psychopath with genuinely chilling style. There’s a decent amount of violence in this book, but the scariest part of all is how the author brings you inside the mind of the the story’s culprit. Strong exploration of family dynamics, too. Highly recommended!
  • Ova Incekaraoglu
    This was a brilliant and unique read. Be warned, it was slow burning, in the first 20% of the book the setting haven't changed- Yu-jin finds his mother dead downstairs, and doesn't remember anything, keeps moving in the house. I started to think I may not like this book, but I was wrong. It doesn't take long after that for the story take sinister turns and morph into a shocking explanation of everything. I really liked the style of writing. The e...
  • Paul
    The Good Son is a thriller that takes the reader down a dark hole, deep in the human psyche. I did find some of the the analysis of every detail of the past 24-hours a bit repetitive, and parts of the plot were predictable. But I would still recommend this one for the original and intense storytelling that you will make you squirm, yet still keep you reading and reading.Thank you to NetGalley, Penguin Books, and You-Jeong Jeong for the advance co...
  • Elizabeth Moffat
    First of all, thank you so much to Grace Vincent and Little, Brown publishers for providing me with a digital copy of this astounding novel from "the Korean Stephen King," in exchange for an honest review. When Grace first emailed me and I read the comparison to King above, well of course I had to have it! As a die-hard Constant Reader (King fan) anything that is compared to my all-time favourite author, I have to check out. Now, I normally hate ...
  • Jessica Woodbury
    While THE GOOD SON has the trappings of a right-this-moment thriller, this is a surprisingly slow burn. Thriller readers used to the spare prose and constant rewards of your typical US thrillers will have to adjust to getting their reveals over the course of several pages of long flashbacks without any of the typical cues or pacing. But this isn't a bad thing! You have to work a little bit in this book rather than getting spoon-fed.Readers also w...
  • Paul Fulcher
    "I was the investigator interrogating the criminal. But the two were one and the same, the criminal had a slippery relationship with the truth, and his memory was spotty.""It would take something special to make Yu-jin’s pulse quicken. I’m afraid because I don’t know what that might be."정유정 (Jeong You-jeong) is described by her UK publisher as "South Korea’s leading writer of psychological crime and thriller fiction. She is often co...
  • Ova Incekaraoglu
    This was a brilliant and unique read. Be warned, it was slow burning, in the first 20% of the book the setting haven't changed- Yu-jin finds his mother dead downstairs, and doesn't remember anything, keeps moving in the house. I started to think I may not like this book, but I was wrong. It doesn't take long after that for the story take sinister turns and morph into a shocking explanation of everything. I really liked the style of writing. The e...
  • Janel
    This slow-burning novel has the most intriguing opening, and what follows is a compelling tale of self-exploration. Through the situation Yu-jin finds himself in, he takes the reader on a journey as he tries to piece together the events in his life that led to this moment, the moment he wakes covered in blood, and equally important, how to survive this moment. The Good Son is dubbed as a thriller, but the thrills aren’t found in the pacing, as ...
  • Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
    See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary FlitsI recently spotted Ova's The Good Son review on her blog Excuse My Reading which encouraged me to get to reading my ARC of this book sooner rather than later. It's narrated in the first person by Yu-jin who is a brilliantly unreliable narrator. A chilling character, he fascinated me (much like watching a snake) and loved the uncertainty of never knowing whether what I was discovering was The t...
  • Julie Lacey
    This is an intriguing book which starts with Yu-jin waking up one morning to find himself covered in blood and his Mother dead downstairs. Yu-jin tries to remember what happened the night before but he is epileptic, and frequently doesn’t take his medication which causes memory loss and long periods of drowsiness. He can remember his mother calling his name last night, but doesn’t remember in what context this was. The Good Son is a story wit...
  • Poppy fairy
    If you like reading Stephen King books then you will most certainly enjoy reading The Good Son. This is a brilliant psychology thriller. Yu-Jin wakes up drenched in blood all over his sheets with blood all over him. Bloody footprints lead him down stairs to his mother in a pool of blood. The question is of course what happened? I totally recommend The Good Son with its evil story.
  • Thebooktrail
    Visit the locations in the novelDespite this being hailed as a thriller, I found this very very slow. It burns like one of the never ending candles but suddenly there’s a spark and light is shone on all what you’ve just read. The journey there however will be difficult for some as it’s one internal monologue after another as a man wakes up from a heavy night  (yawn) to find himself covered in blood and his mother lying at the bottom of the...
  • ns510
    2.5 stars.I wish I loved this more than I did. It is a rather chilling story, about a young man who wakes up covered in blood, and no recollection of anything else. I thought it would be right up my street, and maybe it would have been under normal reading circumstances. Sadly, had to stop and start this one multiple times and never really got into it. The last third was a lot more engaging, though this could also have been because I was paying m...
  • Andy Weston
    I certainly needed this, an original and suspenseful crime noir, and the first of Jeong’s books to be translated to English. It was off the back of a couple of predictable and formulaic crime novels which I really struggled with. It’s a book that is best read without reading any synopses, or having forgotten about them. Many times I was unsure where it was heading. It reminded me at times of a Pascal Garnier novel. I look forward to the next ...
  • Agnese
    The Good Son by You-jeong Jeong, translated from the Korean by Chi-Young Kim, is a psychological thriller that has been compared to American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, Misery by Stephen King and A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, and, since two of these novels are among my favourite books of all time, I was very intrigued to read it. Moreover, it's a work in translation, and You-jeong Jeong is described as one of the leading psychologica...
  • Dimitris Passas
    This was kind of an exotic read for me as it is the first Korean crime novel I'd devoured and I can honestly admit that ''The Good Son'' is a captivating and atmospheric thriller that will leave you stunned. The story is narrated basically through the internal monologues of the protagonist, Yu-Jin, who wakes up in his house only to find his mother lain dead beside him in the kitchen in a bloodbath scene which seems to emerge from his most horribl...
  • Catherine ♡
    Damn. This book was terrifying. And it really made me rethink my username (psychopathycathy) - I've changed it, by the way.What was thrilling wasn't really the plot of the story itself, but more so trying to find out what had happened in the past already. I definitely got chills several times.I did feel like the writing was good at times, but subpar at others, and because the timeline was telling both the story of the past and the story of the pr...
  • Alison
    4.5 starsThis was such a great read and so different from what I was expecting when the publisher offered me a copy to read. Based on the reviews I read prior to picking this up, I was a little wary. There was a lot of "it's a slow burn" and "you have to stick with it" but this was not my experience of reading it at all.Yes, there's not a huge amount of action and it's a very intense look inside the head of someone who's clearly not quite right b...
  • Patricia
    THE GOOD SON blew me away! 26 year old Yu-jin awakes to find himself covered in blood next to his murdered mother. Yu-jin has epilepsy and seizures; he can't remember what happened. So begins a very twisted novel. I loved the writing and highly recommend this to all lovers of psychological thrillers. I received this novel for an honest review.
  • Estibaliz79
    Thanks to Goodreads Giveaways and Penguin Books for providing me with an Advance Uncorrected Proof of this novel.... that I just finished, 3 days after it was officially released. Here is my honest review..."A breathless, chilling psychological thriller by the bestselling Korean novelist 'rightly compared to Stephen King'" (Die Zeit, Germany).I just picked this quote and praise to the novel to help me out to start with my review, because as we al...
  • Mary Picken
    I have a feeling this is going to be a marmite book. But I’ll put my neck on the line and tell you I loved it. This is predominantly a first person narrative, the archetypal unreliable narrator whose narrative becomes more reliable as we listen to his words and explanations.When a young man wakes up covered all over with sticky blood and discovers body of his mother, throat slit wide, at the bottom of the stairs, he realises that he can’t rem...
  • Ellis
    read in an afternoon, stuck it out bc my grandmom recommended it. colossal waste of time. good writing and pacing was negated imo by a story perpetuating harmful stereotypes against the mentally ill.
  • Hasnamezied
    This is my second read of the Korean Literature and I have to say what a disturbing book this is. It would make a fantastic horror movie.
  • Jennilyn
    This review and other shenanigans are also posted on my book blog.Well, the blurb says the book is “The Talented Mr. Ripley” meets “The Bad Seed”. I haven’t watched both films so I have zero clue whatsoever in that aspect. The blurb also says the author is Korea’s Stephen King. Now, we’re talking. But it’s not the Stephen King part that caught my attention, as I have yet to read any of his books. *hides* It’s actually the part t...
  • Erica (ricci.reads)
    The first of the authors four novels to be translated from Korean to English, 'The Good Son' is a psychological thriller featuring an unreliable narrator that is apparently inspired by a true story.It begins with Yu-Jin awakening one morning, with no recollection of what has happened the night before, to find the dead body of his mother downstairs. Over the course of a few days, we follow Yu-Jin fulfilling dual roles as both potential suspect...