Sandy’s Sunday Summary

Sunday, and it’s kind of living up to its name. The sun is intermittently peeking through the clouds, and it’s not raining! There is some actual warmth to the sun if you are out of the wind.

Isn’t it the truth that it’s not the length of a book that mostly determines how long it takes to read ,but your level of interest. I spent all week struggling through Night-Gaunts by Joyce Carol Oates which, to my great relief, I finished yesterday. I worked yesterday, last night and this morning, but already I am half way through my next read! I have to admit that I am enjoying

Deception Wears Many Faces

every bit as much as I enjoyed the first book I read by this author, His Kidnapper’s Shoes.

This week I am planning on reading

The Killing Habit: A Tom Thorne Novel

From “one of the most consistently entertaining, insightful crime writers working today” (Gillian Flynn), The Killing Habit again brings together favorite wild-card detective Tom Thorne and straight-laced DI Nicola Tanner on a pair of lethally high-stakes cases.

While DI Nicola Tanner investigates the deadly spread of a dangerous new drug, Tom Thorne is handed a case that he doesn’t take too seriously, until a spate of animal killings points to the work of a serial killer. When the two cases come together in a way that neither could have foreseen, both Thorne and Tanner must risk everything to catch two very different killers. Mark Billingham is one of my favorite authors.

Bring Me Back

Finn and Layla are young, in love, and on vacation. They’re driving along the highway when Finn decides to stop at a service station to use the restroom. He hops out of the car, locks the doors behind him, and goes inside. When he returns Layla is gone—never to be seen again. That is the story Finn told to the police. But it is not the whole story.

Ten years later Finn is engaged to Layla’s sister, Ellen. Their shared grief over what happened to Layla drew them close and now they intend to remain together. Still, there’s something about Ellen that Finn has never fully understood. His heart wants to believe that she is the one for him…even though a sixth sense tells him not to trust her.

Then, not long before he and Ellen are to be married, Finn gets a phone call. Someone from his past has seen Layla—hiding in plain sight. There are other odd occurrences: Long-lost items from Layla’s past that keep turning up around Finn and Ellen’s house. Emails from strangers who seem to know too much. Secret messages, clues, warnings. If Layla is alive—and on Finn’s trail—what does she want? And how much does she know?

A tour de force of psychological suspense, Bring Me Back will have you questioning everything and everyone until its stunning climax.

This will be my first encounter with this author about whom I have heard so much.

And I have a zero ARC week. I have requests pending . . .

Happy reading. Don’t be shy about telling me what you have read /are reading/ have lined up to read. I love a little book envy!

Happy reading!

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Night-Gaunts by Joyce Carol Oates

Night-Gaunts and Other Tales of Suspense by Joyce Carol Oates
Night-Gaunts and Other Tales of Suspense 
by

Reviewed by
30817744


EXCERPT: (Taken from the title story – Night-Gaunts) St John’s Episcopal Church was a weak place, the boy sensed. The white-haired priest could not have defended the altar against an assault of night-gaunts if the malevolent creatures went in on the attack and swarmed over it and for this reason Horace did not bow his head, did not shut his eyes to pray, for shutting his eyes could be a mistake, like reaching your hand into a pool of dark water in which (it was given to you to know) water-serpents might be waiting.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: In the title story of her taut new fiction collection, Night-Gaunts and Other Tales of Suspense, Joyce Carol Oates writes: Life was not of the surface like the glossy skin of an apple, but deep inside the fruit where seeds are harbored. There is no writer more capable of picking out those seeds and exposing all their secret tastes and poisons than Oates herself―as brilliantly demonstrated in these six stories.

The book opens with a woman, naked except for her high-heeled shoes, seated in front of the window in an apartment she cannot, on her own, afford. In this exquisitely tense narrative reimagining of Edward Hopper’s Eleven A.M., 1926, the reader enters the minds of both the woman and her married lover, each consumed by alternating thoughts of disgust and arousal, as he rushes, amorously, murderously, to her door. In “The Long-Legged Girl,” an aging, jealous wife crafts an unusual game of Russian roulette involving a pair of Wedgewood teacups, a strong Bengal brew, and a lethal concoction of medicine. Who will drink from the wrong cup, the wife or the dance student she believes to be her husband’s latest conquest? In “The Sign of the Beast,” when a former Sunday school teacher’s corpse turns up, the blighted adolescent she had by turns petted and ridiculed confesses to her murder―but is he really responsible? Another young outsider, Horace Phineas Love, Jr., is haunted by apparitions at the very edge of the spectrum of visibility after the death of his tortured father in “Night-Gaunts,” a fantastic ode to H.P. Lovecraft.

Reveling in the uncanny and richly in conversation with other creative minds, Night-Gaunts and Other Tales of Suspense stands at the crossroads of sex, violence, and longing―and asks us to interrogate the intersection of these impulses within ourselves.

MY THOUGHTS: I think that readers of Joyce Carol Oates fall into one of two camps. You either love her, or you don’t. After finishing this, the second collection of short stories by this author that I have read, I have come to the conclusion that I am firmly in the second camp.

Oates has a very distinctive writing style, one that I find difficult to enjoy. It could almost be described as ‘stream-of-consciousness’. I find it difficult to follow, and largely pointless. I hate to get to the end of a story and wonder why I bothered. There were several stories in this collection that I considered abandoning, and now I wish I had. I won’t be bothering to read this author again.

I did enjoy The Woman In the Window, but the rest of the stories left me feeling dissatisfied and disgruntled. I didn’t find any of the stories suspenseful.

Another thing that annoyed me is the author’s predilection for not giving the main character a name, referring to them as L___ or N___. Why? What is the point?

Just because I found this to be an unsatisfying read doesn’t mean that you won’t love it. This is my personal opinion, my reaction to the book. Most reviews for this book are positive, so if you enjoyed the excerpt, please go ahead and read Night-Gaunts and Other Tales of Suspense by Joyce Carol Oates. You may well be one of the many who enjoy this book.

Thank you to Grove Atlantic via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Night-Gaunts by Joyce Carol Oates for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com profile page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2251342907

Friday Favorite – All Fall Down by Stacy Green

Looking for something to read over the weekend ?

Nothing on your book radar that is screaming ‘read me’?

Take a look at my Friday Favorite. It may be new. It may be old. It may be written by a famous author, or by someone you have never heard of. But wherever in the spectrum it falls, it will be a book that is special to me, one that has captured both my imagination and my heart.

I can’t believe that I had forgotten about this amazing series. .. it started with All Good Deeds, then came See Them Run, Gone to Die, and finally All Fall Down, which was an absolute blinder of a finish to the series. But, be warned, you do need to read them in order to get the most from them.

All Fall Down by Stacy Green
All Fall Down (Lucy Kendall, #4) 
by

Stacy Green (Goodreads Author)
30817744

Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* Jones‘s review

Nov 07, 2015  ·  edit
it was amazing

bookshelves: ownfavorites5-star


EXCERPT: ‘He watched me.
And he knew me. He knew how to pull my strings until I did exactly what he wanted.’

ABOUT THIS BOOK: A killer rises…

Determined to start over, Lucy Kendall moves to Washington, D.C., and takes a position with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

But the past doesn’t want to let her go.

When a police officer walks into her office and tells her the unthinkable, she knows she has to go back. But it’s too late. The gauntlet has been dropped, and Lucy has no choice but to play a sadistic killer’s game.

Unable to trust anyone, Lucy scrambles to find the truth. But time runs out, and she must do the one thing she swore she’d never do: tell the truth about the people she’s killed.

Will Lucy’s ultimate sacrifice be enough?

MY THOUGHTS: Stacy Green sure knows how to pull my strings and push my buttons!

I know that when I start one of her books, I am not going to get anything else done until I am finished. Which is why I stayed up all night reading All Fall Down.

This is book 4, and the final one, in the Lucy Kendall series; undeniably the best series of psychological thrillers I have ever read.

Lucy has moved to Washington, D.C., and taken a position with the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, a position where she can utilise her unique talents.

She has decided to make a fresh start, to put her previous life behind her. But you know what they say, you always take yourself with you, no matter where you go.

So when one of her former Social Services clients is found murdered and posed to resemble Lucy’s dead sister, and a message for Lucy is scrawled on the mirror, Lucy believes she is responsible for the death.

And then the unthinkable happens – Kelly is abducted and her abductor issues a challenge to Lucy. She has 48 hours to locate Kelly, or he will kill her.

Is this linked to all the bad things she has done in her past? Or is this someone new, playing out his sick and sadistic fantasies?

The writing is taut, tense and suspenseful – just what I have come to expect from Stacy Green. The plot is fast paced and unpredictable; the characters, flawed as they are, get under your skin and into your heart.

I am going to miss Lucy, Kelly, Todd, Chris and Justin – they have undoubtedly provided the best reading of my year. But I am looking forward to reading Stacy Green’s other works; and I see she has a new book out early 2016, which I am going to pre-order.

Thank you Stacy Green for this wonderful journey.

WARNING: This is NOT a stand alone book.

All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1436733465

Letterbox by P.A.Davies

Letterbox - P.A. Davies - Book Blog Tour Poster

I am so very excited to be the first stop on the blog tour for Letterbox by P.A.Davies.

Letterbox - P.A. Davies - Book Cover

EXCERPT: For the first time since being in the room, the dark figure leant into the light revealing a large, bulldog looking face sat upon a thick neck. His nose looked like it had been broken several times, no doubt the result from years of street fighting and a three inch scar ran up his left cheek, the legacy of an inaccurate gunman. His dark piercing eyes shone in the bright glow and remained unblinking as he stared at the man across the table. When he spoke this time, the tone of his voice was like a low growl, demanding an answer to his question. ‘Have y’bin turned?’

ABOUT THIS BOOK: At approximately 09.00hrs on the 15th June 1996, an unassuming white lorry was parked on Corporation Street in the city centre of Manchester, England; it contained over 3000 pounds of high explosive.
At 11.15hrs the same day, Manchester witnessed the detonation of the largest device on the British mainland since the second World War … The Irish Republican Army claimed responsibility for the attack.

Based around actual events, LETTERBOX tells the story of Liam Connor, an ordinary boy brought up in Manchester by a seemingly ordinary family. He goes to the local school, loves football and has a best friend called Sean … an ordinary life!
Unbeknown to Liam, his father, Michael Connor, harbors a dark historic secret, following a life a lot less ordinary … as a furtive, yet high ranking soldier within the IRA.

As a result of extraordinary circumstances, Liam’s innocent and carefree world is shattered when he is exposed to the truth about his family’s heritage and then learns about the tragic death of his father at the hands of the SAS.

Consumed with both hate and the need to seek retribution, Liam is taken to Ireland where he is intensively trained to become a highly skilled and efficient soldier within the Irish Republican Army … He is 16 years old!
Some years later, following the drug-induced death of his beloved sister, Liam is given the opportunity to exact his revenge on those he believed should truly be blamed for the tragedies in his life … The British Government!
Thus, on the 15th June 1996, it was Liam’s responsibility to drive the bomb laden lorry into the unsuspecting city of Manchester and let the voice of the IRA be clearly heard … And listened to!!

MY THOUGHTS: If you had told me that I was going to love a book about the 1996 Manchester bombing, I would have laughed at you. ‘Not my thing,’ I would have stated confidently. It was something I would have passed to my husband, probably rolling my eyes while doing so.

When Caroline Vincent (Bits About Books) asked me to read Letterbox by P.A.Davies she very cleverly didn’t tell me what it was about, just that she thought that I might enjoy it. She was right.

I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t have preconceived ideas about the IRA. I can’t imagine having to live through that era on either side. I can remember being horrified at the violence and the waste of life by both sides. Wonderered why they couldn’t just sit around the table and sort it. Which, eventually, they did. While I don’t condone the actions of either side, I now have a deeper understanding.

Author P. A. Davies does a great job of providing a balanced view of the bombing in this powerfully written, enthralling piece of ‘historical faction’. I, quite unexpectedly, found myself drawn into the Connor family, enjoying watching Liam grow up, experiencing his anger when he finds out the truth about his father, his devastation at his father’s death, and his subsequent indoctrination into the IRA. I loved his sense of loyalty, his need to protect his best friend. I wept for Margaret, for the treatment she received both from her family and the SAS, and then her senseless death at the hands of an enemy far more lethal and widespread than the IRA and the British Army combined
Letterbox was an unexpected pleasure. One I won’t hesitate to recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: P.A. Davies

P.A.-Davies-Author-Image

This is P.A. Davies at his favourite writing space: Costa Coffee Café

P.A. Davies grew up in Manchester, UK, a place he has lived in and around all his life – he loves Manchester and is proud to be part of the multi-cultural, modern city that houses two Premiership football teams and is the birthplace of many a famous band, such as Oasis, the Stone Roses, Take That and Simply Red.

For most of his life, he dabbled with writing various pieces, from poems to short fictional stories just for fun. However, following advice from a good friend he decided to have a go at writing a novel. Thus, his first novel ‘Letterbox’ was conceived, a fictional take on the infamous IRA bombing of Manchester in 1996. It took him over a year to complete but while doing so, he found it to be one of the most satisfying and interesting paths he had ever followed. It comes as no surprise that the writing bug now became firmly embedded within him.

P.A. Davies’ second book was published in May 2013, ‘George: A Gentleman of the Road’, a true story about one of Manchester’s homeless. His third novel, ‘The Good in Mister Philips’, is an erotic novel (arguably set to rival Fifty Shades…!) and his fourth, ‘Nobody Heard Me Cry’ (Dec. 2015) is again a fact-based tale, this time of Manchester’s darker side. The thriller ‘Absolution’ (Oct. 2017) is his fifth novel. Currently, P.A. Davies is writing his sixth novel, titled ‘I, Muslim.’

To label P.A. Davies’ writings would be difficult because his works diverse from thrillers to touching novels to true-to-life tales embedded in a captivating story for the author is an imaginative and versatile storyteller.

Social Links


Author Website: www.padavies.co.uk
FB Author Page: www.facebook.com/padavies.ukauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/padavies_
GoodReads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/6434810.P_A_Davies
Amazon Author Page: author.to/PADavies
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+PADaviesUKAuthor
Instagram: www.instagram.com/padavies

Books by P.A. Davies


Absolution (2017) getbook.at/Absolution-PADavies
Nobody Heard Me Cry (2016) getbook.at/NobodyHeardMeCry
The Good in Mister Philips (2014) getbook.at/TheGoodinMisterPhilips
George: A Gentleman of the Road (2013) getbook.at/GeorgeAGentlemanoftheRoad
Letterbox (2011) getbook.at/Letterbox

Thank you to author P. A. Davies and Bits About Books Caroline Vincent for providing a digital copy of Letterbox for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sandy’s Sunday Summary

Who put the world on fast forward ? Sunday again and I have read very little this week due to the craziness at work. One more week and hopefully things will start to settle down a little. There have been times this week when I have wondered if I have bitten off more than I can chew with this position, but really I think that’s just tiredness talking. I didn’t even manage to complete what I had planned on reading this week. I am only half way through

The Summer Children (The Collector, #3)

But  it is a really good read and as soon as I have finished posting today, I will be heading for my reading chair with a ‘do not disturb’ sign.

I am currently listening to

Then She Was Gone

I love this author, and the narrator is magnificent.

When  my Kindle is on the charger, I am reading the latest Stephen King, which I bought last week.

The Outsider

This week I am planning on reading

Night-Gaunts and Other Tales of Suspense

In the title story of her taut new fiction collection, Night-Gaunts and Other Tales of Suspense, Joyce Carol Oates writes: Life was not of the surface like the glossy skin of an apple, but deep inside the fruit where seeds are harbored. There is no writer more capable of picking out those seeds and exposing all their secret tastes and poisons than Oates herself―as brilliantly demonstrated in these six stories.

The book opens with a woman, naked except for her high-heeled shoes, seated in front of the window in an apartment she cannot, on her own, afford. In this exquisitely tense narrative reimagining of Edward Hopper’s Eleven A.M., 1926, the reader enters the minds of both the woman and her married lover, each consumed by alternating thoughts of disgust and arousal, as he rushes, amorously, murderously, to her door. In “The Long-Legged Girl,” an aging, jealous wife crafts an unusual game of Russian roulette involving a pair of Wedgewood teacups, a strong Bengal brew, and a lethal concoction of medicine. Who will drink from the wrong cup, the wife or the dance student she believes to be her husband’s latest conquest? In “The Sign of the Beast,” when a former Sunday school teacher’s corpse turns up, the blighted adolescent she had by turns petted and ridiculed confesses to her murder―but is he really responsible? Another young outsider, Horace Phineas Love, Jr., is haunted by apparitions at the very edge of the spectrum of visibility after the death of his tortured father in “Night-Gaunts,” a fantastic ode to H.P. Lovecraft.

Reveling in the uncanny and richly in conversation with other creative minds, Night-Gaunts and Other Tales of Suspense stands at the crossroads of sex, violence, and longing―and asks us to interrogate the intersection of these impulses within ourselves.

Deception Wears Many Faces

When Lyddie takes her sister to Devon to recover after a recent suicide attempt, it starts a train of events that will put their lives in grave danger.

Ellie has been the victim of a professional con artist, one who stole her savings, then disappeared from her life. Driven by her own history of failed relationships, Lyddie vows revenge on the man who broke her sister’s heart.

Soon she assumes a false identity and begins her hunt for a man she knows to be cold, calculating and ruthless. But who is fooling whom? And can Lyddie find the justice she seeks and heal her damaged sister?

I received only three ARCs this week

When Archie Met Rosie: An Unexpected Love Story

The Murder of My Aunt (British Library Crime Classics)

and Sins of the Fathers by Andrea Fraser, for which I don’t currently have a cover image.

So that’s my week all wrapped up, and next week’sreading mapped out ,but you know what they say about the best laid plans . . .

Happy reading my friends, and don’t forget to let me know what you are reading and what you think of it.

Cheers

Sandy

 

 

 

The Summer Children by Dot Hutchinson

The Summer Children by Dot Hutchison
The Summer Children (The Collector, #3) 
by

Dot Hutchison (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by

30817744


EXCERPT: Once upon a time, there was a little girl who was scared of the dark.

Which was silly, even she knew that. There was nothing in the dark to hurt you that wasn’t also in the light. You just couldn’t see it coming.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: This FBI agent has come to expect almost anything—just not this…

When Agent Mercedes Ramirez finds an abused young boy on her porch, covered in blood and clutching a teddy bear, she has no idea that this is just the beginning. He tells her a chilling tale: an angel killed his parents and then brought him here so Mercedes could keep him safe.

His parents weren’t just murdered. It was a slaughter—a rage kill like no one on the Crimes Against Children team had seen before. But they’re going to see it again. An avenging angel is meting out savage justice, and she’s far from through.

One by one, more children arrive at Mercedes’s door with the same horror story. Each one a traumatized survivor of an abusive home. Each one chafing at Mercedes’s own scars from the past. And each one taking its toll on her life and career.

Now, as the investigation draws her deeper into the dark, Mercedes is beginning to fear that if this case doesn’t destroy her, her memories might.

MY THOUGHTS: I have never been scared of the dark, have never believed in monsters, but then, unlike the children in The Summer Children by Dot Hutchinson, I never had reason to.

Although this, the third book in Hutchison’s Collector series – The Summer Children, lacks the gut-wrenching emotional punch of The Butterfly Garden (that is a book that I will never forget), it remains an excellent read. My next comment is probably going to sound very strange given that we are dealing with horrific stories of child abuse, but this is somewhat gentler in nature, in the way that it is written. Without going into graphic descriptions of the abuse, Hutchison still manages to portray the horror of what these children have endured at the hands of the very people who are meant to love and protect them.

FBI agents Brandon Eddison, Victor Hanoverian, and Mercedes Ramirez are the linking thread in this series of books, which I recommend are read in order. It is interesting to see the relationship development through the series, not only with one another, but with the victims they have rescued. They love and support one another, protect one another, even put their lives on the line for one another.

Hutchison gives us her all in her portrayal of the good and the bad, and the good gone bad. Because what starts out as one person’s crusade to rescue children from their abusive lives, inadvertently takes a wrong turn and, in doing so, endangers the lives of more children, their innocent parents and, ultimately, members of the FBI team.

This writer knows her subject. Her characters have great depth, her writing is emotionally charged but beautifully balanced, her plotting faultless. I am glad to learn that this series, originally intended to be a trilogy, is to continue with a fourth book, The Vanishing Season, due for publication in 2019. My name will be at the top of the reserve list.

Thank you to Thomas and Mercer via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Summer Children by Dot Hutchinson for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2403930327

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
Pretty Baby 
by

Mary Kubica (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by

30817744


EXCERPT: HEIDI

The first time I see her, she is standing at the Fullerton Sta­tion, on the train platform, clutching an infant in her arms. She braces herself and the baby as the purple line express soars past and out to Linden. It’s the 8th of April, forty-eight degrees and raining. The rain lurches down from the sky, here, there and everywhere, the wind untamed and angry. A bad day for hair.

The girl is dressed in a pair of jeans, torn at the knee. Her coat is thin and nylon, an army green. She has no hood, no um­brella. She tucks her chin into the coat and stares straight ahead while the rain saturates her. Those around her cower beneath umbrellas, no one offering to share. The baby is quiet, stuffed inside the mother’s coat like a joey in a kangaroo pouch. Tufts of slimy pink fleece sneak out from the coat and I convince myself that the baby, sound asleep in what feels to me like utter bedlam—chilled to the bone, the thunderous sound of the “L” soaring past—is a girl.

There’s a suitcase beside her feet, vintage leather, brown and worn, beside a pair of lace-up boots, soaked thoroughly through.

She can’t be older than sixteen.

She’s thin. Malnourished, I tell myself, but maybe she’s just thin. Her clothes droop. Her jeans are baggy, her coat too big.

A CTA announcement signals a train approaching, and the brown line pulls into the station. A cluster of morning rush hour commuters crowd into the warmer, drier train, but the girl does not move. I hesitate for a moment—feeling the need to do something—but then board the train like the other do-nothings and, slinking into a seat, watch out the window as the doors close and we slide away, leaving the girl and her baby in the rain.

But she stays with me all day.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: A chance encounter sparks an unrelenting web of lies in this stunning new psychological thriller from national bestselling author Mary Kubica

She sees the teenage girl on the train platform, standing in the pouring rain, clutching an infant in her arms. She boards a train and is whisked away. But she can’t get the girl out of her head…

Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman: she works for a nonprofit, takes in stray cats. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi returns home one day with a young woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal—or worse. But despite her family’s objections, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home.

Heidi spends the next few days helping Willow get back on her feet, but as clues into Willow’s past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she’s willing to go to help a stranger. What starts as an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated.

MY THOUGHTS: ‘What starts as an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated.’ …how true is that!

I can remember my mother telling me that no good deed goes unpunished. At the time I thought she was cynical. Now I wonder. . . But Mary Kubica uses this saying as the basis for her book, Pretty Baby, and uses it to great effect.

What starts out as a ‘good deed’ by Heidi, who works with the disadvantaged, soon turns into something far less simple as Willow, about whom Heidi’s husband says ‘Willow? That’s not a name. That’s a tree.’, and her baby Ruby trigger long suppressed emotions in Heidi.

‘Twisted’ is an excellent word to describe the plot which, although slow-moving at times, has a satisfying depth to it. There is an underlying miasma, evident from the start, that for me, ratcheted up the anticipation of disaster. I was not disappointed.

The book is split over different timelines, and told from the points of view of Heidi, Heidi’s husband Chris and Willow. Heidi and Chris couldn’t be more different from each other. Heidi doesn’t care about money at all. She is only concerned with the neglected, mistreated, overlooked, ignored, uneducated,
abandoned, forgotten, emaciated, abused, and derelict on this earth. Chris is an investment banker. Money is the main focus of his life and, paradoxically, this is what enables Heidi to pursue her passion. Chris loves his wife, loves that she doesn’t care about money, but the fact that she has brought what he sees as ‘her work’ home, makes him uncomfortable. He fears for the safety of his 50″ TV, and of their teenage daughter Zoe. Yes, there are plenty of moments to make you smile mixed in with the gathering darkness. But, eventually, the storm must hit, the results devastating.

Pretty Baby was so very nearly a five star read. But there was one section of the book that I found confusing. I went back over it several times, but was still left scratching my head. I still don’t have it straight, but it is one minor blip in an otherwise excellent read.

I listened to Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica, narrated by Cassandra Campbell, Tom Taylorson and Jorjeana Marle, published by Blackstone Audio via OverDrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on myGoodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1241474695