My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
I read and really enjoyed Mary Kubica’s previous book Pretty Baby so I was very excited to get a copy of this book from NetGalley. She has a real knack for writing gripping thrillers, with fascinating characters and lots of twists and turns.
Don’t You Cry is definitely a twisty tale and it keeps you guessing till the very end. It’s well written and has some fantastic character development but I did find it a little bit slow to get going and for some reason the whole thing left me feeling a little bit depressed and disappointed.
It is still one of the better psychological thrillers I’ve come across, I think I was just expecting something more.
The story is told from the perspective of two different and seemingly unrelated characters Quinn and Alex.
Quinn is a twenty something girl living in Chicago with her roommate Esther. Alex is an 18 year old boy, living with his alcoholic father in a small town miles away. Then one day Quinn’s roommate disappears. Nothing dramatic, she just wakes up one Sunday and Esther isn’t there. When she hasn’t appeared by the end of the day Quinn starts to worry and as more time passes she starts to investigate with the help of co worker Ben. What she finds is that her roommate had secrets and may not be the person she thought. This raises the question of how much do you really know anyone?
Around the same time a strange girl appears in the cafe where Alex works. In a town where nothing happens and nothing changes this is the best thing that’s ever happened to Alex. He’s lonely as all his friends have gone off to college and becomes fascinated by this beautiful girl who he calls Pearl. They start to form a tentative friendship but Pearl is very secretive and her behaviour is at times odd. What is she hiding and why is she really in town?
This is a bit of a slow burner and it takes a while to get going. Actually I felt like it took a bit too long to get going and I found my attention wandering. It’s probably around the 75% mark that it really kicks into gear. At that point it becomes completely addictive and I flew through the pages to the end.
The writing is pretty good but for some reason I found it a bit of a struggle to focus. I think this was mostly me as I wasn’t having the best week but sometimes the sentences were a little long and winding. There are a lot of descriptions and a lot of flashbacks and memories which do help build the characters and set up the conclusion but made it slightly slow going.
The characters are very well developed and fascinating and, while there wasn’t anyone I particularly liked, I definitely felt a lot of sympathy for them and their actions seemed very believable. I do like a story where you really get into the heads of the characters and I think if you like a story that’s heavy on character development this book would be right up your street.
While I would argue it’s probably more psychological than thriller there are quite a few twists and turns and it definitely keeps you guessing. I did have an inkling of what the big reveal would be but the author still managed to keep some surprises up her sleeve. The ending was exciting but for whatever reason it left me feeling a little bit sad and dissatisfied.
Overall, while I don’t think this story is quite as good as Pretty Baby, it’s definitely one of the better examples of the genre. If you’re a fan of slow burners with well defined and realistic characters I’d definitely recommend.
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.