The Only Child

The Only Child

An eerie and absorbing novel following a criminal psychologist who has discovered shocking and possibly dangerous connections between a serial killer and her stepdaughter.

Criminal psychologist Seonkyeong receives an unexpected call one day. Yi Byeongdo, a serial killer whose gruesome murders shook the world, wants to be interviewed. Yi Byeongdo, who has refused to speak to anyone until now, asks specifically for her. Seonkyeong agrees out of curiosity. 

That same day Hayeong, her husband’s eleven-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, shows up at their door after her grandparents, with whom she lived after her mother passed away, die in a sudden fire. Seonkyeong wants her to feel at home, but is gradually unnerved as the young girl says very little and acts strangely. 

At work and at home, Seonkyeong starts to unravel the pasts of the two new arrivals in her life and begins to see startling similarities. Hayeong looks at her the same way Yi Byeongdo does when he recounts the abuse he experienced as a child; Hayeong’s serene expression masks a temper that she can’t control. Plus, the story she tells about her grandparents’ death, and her mother’s before that, deeply troubles Seonkyeong. So much so that Yi Byeongdo picks up on it and starts giving her advice. 

Written with exquisite precision and persistent creepiness, The Only Child is psychological suspense at its very best.

Title:The Only Child
ISBN:9780062905055
Format Type:

    The Only Child Reviews

  • Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)

    Dnf at page 45 in the ARC. Maybe this is just because I’m reading an advanced version but the writing in this book is awful. It’s repetitive and unfeeling and just not a fun time to read. Words ar...

  • Michelle

    I became a fan of Asian crime fiction since discovering the likes of Kanae Minato and Natsuo Kirino so I was very excited to be granted an ARC of The Only Child. "I shouldn't have gone in, even if ...

  • Chris

    The Only Child is a translation of a Korean thriller featuring a criminal psychologist Seongkyeong who suddenly gets a phone call that a serial killer who has kept quiet for years suddenly wants to ta...

  • Faith

    Eleven year old Hayeong is found uninjured after a fire kills her grandparents with whom she had been living since the death of her mother. Hayeong is collected by her indifferent father Jaeseong, a b...

  • Erin (from Long Island, NY)

    Captivating. I'm starting to see a trend in Asian thrillers... I'm not entirely sure if it's the way it's written, or more to do with the translation- but just like in Confessions (by Kanae Minato) th...

  • Marjorie

    Yi Byeongdo is a serial killer sitting on death row. He hasn’t said much to anyone about the murders he’s committed and the police are anxious to learn just how many murders there were. Unexpected...

  • Alma Katsu

    For fans of TV’s Mindhunter, Mi-Ae Seo’s novel THE ONLY CHILD feels like true crime but is a tour de force of twisty fiction with a shocking ending you won’t be able to stop thinking about.A cri...

  • Paul Fulcher

    "내가 비밀 한 가지 말해줄까요?""Do you want me to tell you a secret?"The Only Child has been translated by Jung Yewon from 서 미애 (Mi-ae So)'s Korean language original 잘 자요 엄...

  • Liz | The Crime Girl

    2.5 stars!GUYS, I’m honestly so sad that I didn’t enjoy this book. I’d seen a ton of mixed reviews before going into it (which usually makes me more excited going into a book) but it really just...

  • Nicole

    Oh boy! This was not a good book...Firstly, the writing wasn't very good. I don't know if that's because it wasn't written well or because this is a Korean translation and the translation was poor Sec...