|Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica|
|Category: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Zoe Morris|
|Summary: A thriller from the get go, this is a book of secrets and lies that will keep you guessing. So absorbing. So good.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 416||Date: August 2015|
|External links: Author's website|
On her morning commute to work, Heidi sees something that shakes her. A young girl, barely older than her own pre-teen daughter, huddling in the rain on the platform, clutching a tiny baby. It’s a distressing situation and it stays on her mind for the rest of the day. So much so that when she sees the girl again, she feels obligated to help. Inviting Willow and baby Ruby to stay with them for a while, Heidi returns with them to the family home she shares with husband Chris and daughter Zoe. But as nice as it is to be nice, should she have been a little more cautious before bringing strangers home to stay? She knows nothing about Willow’s past, though it’s unlikely to be cheerful. Can she keep the pair of them safe and avoid detection from whoever is surely in pursuit of the runaways while she gets to the bottom of the matter? And is she really going to like what she finds?
This is a gripping book that is so thrilling from page one I couldn’t stand to put it down and devoured it in large chunks, gulping down chapter after chapter in one sitting with barely time to digest what was going on. I wanted to know everything and immediately, but part of the appeal of this book is the tantalising way in which clues are dropped, secrets revealed. As the voice switches from Heidi to Chris to Willow, there’s a cliff-hanger at the end of many a chapter and you’re left frustrated as the story takes a different turn for a while, dragging you away from the point you really want to focus on. It’s torture at times, but the very best kind of torture, extremely enjoying and ultimately satisfying.
This story runs from the front, and from the back, for Willow’s sections are set both later in the future and back in the past, as she recounts her own sorry story and how she came to be on the cold streets of the windy city, alone with the baby. There is a good reason for where she has ended up, how she got there, and why now, and as each piece falls into place she changes from Heidi’s charity case to an independent young woman in her own right. I can’t lie. Some of it doesn’t make for pleasant reading but it is handled with taste and compassion and as much as you want to pity Willow, you also discover a new respect for her with every secret that comes through.
The writing in this book is 5 star, perfectly pitched and gender neutral so although written by a woman and predominantly starring women, it is in no means chicklit. The way in which the story unfolds is masterful and by the end there were no loose threads nor unsatisfactory, rushed tie ups. I thought the pace was good as a lot of ground is covered though the story only really takes place over the course of a few days, and Heidi’s transformation, as much as Willow’s, was worth waiting for.
I picked this book up because I so enjoyed The Good Girl by Mary Kubica and I was in no way disappointed. I might even have enjoyed it a little bit more. I’d like to thank the publishers for sending us a copy which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn also comes highly recommended if you like thrillers with a rollercoaster of twists and turns.
You can read more book reviews or buy Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica at Amazon.com.
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