The Good Son, South Korean thriller author You-Jeong Jeong's first novel to be translated into English, by Chi-Young Kim, begins with a young man named Yu-jin waking up in his bed, soaked in blood, with no clear memory of what happened the night before. He has only faint recollections of a girl with a crimson umbrella walking in the rain and his mother calling his name. When he goes downstairs, he finds his mother on the floor with her throat slit, and back in his room, he discovers his late father's straight razor, now bloody. Did he kill his mother? Why would he do such a horrific thing to a woman who took care of him all his life, as he struggled with epilepsy and the side effects of his medications?
Before Yu-jin can process everything, he realizes his brother is coming home from a night out and decides to hide the body and clean up all the blood. But even as Yu-jin scrambles to bury the evidence, he's desperately trying to unearth the truth about his mother's death--and himself.
There's been a rash of unreliable narrators in recent crime fiction but Yu-jin still manages to stand out from the crowd. He's not purposefully withholding information; he just can't remember details because of his seizures and the meds. Like Yu-jin, readers may feel dread creep along their skin as the truth is slowly revealed about the whole bloody mess, and once everything has been made clear, the brutal chill comes from more than the rain on the night of the murder. --Elyse Dinh-McCrillis, blogger at Pop Culture Nerd