Published by Mira Books on July 28th 2015
Genres: Fiction, Psychological, Thrillers, Suspense, General, Crime
Also by this author: The Good Girl, Don't You Cry
eBook provided by Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley
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.
This is the second book I have read from this author. Mary Kubrica can sure web a tale. I was on the edge of my seat reading Pretty Baby. I read this whole book in 24 hours.
Heidi has a bleeding heart. She works for a nonprofit, takes in stray cats, can’t say no when she really should. Upon seeing the same teenage mother and infant child in several public places asking for spare change she decides to really try to help. She asks the girl, Willow, to dinner and then convinces her to call if she needs help. Willow calls and, inevitably, Willow and her baby end up staying with Heidi and her husband. Something shifts while Willow is there with Heidi and the story gets way out of control. Pretty Baby asks some good questions. How far should you go to help a stranger? What would you do if your spouse took in a woman and her baby? Who can you trust when everyone has taken so much from you.
This story took me by surprise. It shouldn’t have since the author is so unpredictable, but it did anyways. We get three different POVs in this story; Heidi, Chris (Heidi’s husband), and Willow. Chris just wants his wife back, Heidi just wants to help, and Willow just wants to feel safe. I enjoyed seeing this from all sides, and then seeing the reality later on. I liked that Chris features so predominately in this story, since his world is being shook up by this rash decision by Heidi. Heidi and Willow both have heartbreaking backgrounds. They have both suffered loss and at this point in life, they are both a little lost.
This story had a great pace and was full of shocking details. I could picture the characters vividly. They are all so realistic. In the beginning we get the idea that this story is non-linear and how things got so messed up will be revealed later. This is what kept me reading way into the night. It was the same for The Good Girl, so I am guessing non-linear suspense is Kubrica’s signature style.
My only complaint is that once the truth was revealed, a certain character spiraled from reality a bit too quickly. For me, it would have been better if she was thinking about this a bit more, earlier in the story. It seems that the ending came along quickly and could have had more details about what happened to that character. I might be alone in this perspective. This is still an excellent story and I definitely recommend this story to those who enjoy a good suspense.