This novel explores how easy it is to make assumptions and how this guesswork is so often wrong. This is the third novel by Mary Kubica, all thoughtful mysteries, carefully written and detailed. It took me longer to get into this one, but Kubica spends time drawing the characters and I was prepared to go along with her.
There are two narrators. In Chicago, Quinn’s roommate disappears. After a couple of days waiting for Esther to return and wondering if she has done anything to upset her, Quinn starts to poke around looking for answers. The first things she finds are confusing, they contradict the Esther she knows, or thinks she knows. And then she starts to wonder what Esther is hiding. Quinn’s voice is alternated with Alex, a young man who lives in the small town where he grew up on the shore of Lake Michigan. He is a nice guy, who passed up on college for a boring low-paid in a rundown lakeside café so he can care for his drunken father. He takes lunch to Ingrid, a housebound elderly lady and stays to eat with her, and to play cards. One day, he goes to work and sees a girl with distinctive, ombre hair. There is something about her that captures his imagination. The girl, in his head he calls her Pearl, is watching the house next door to Ingrid, which is the office of a psychologist.
Nothing is what it seems. I raced through the last few pages as the answers came thick and fast. The twists and turns are clever but, compared with Kubica’s other two novels, this feels baggy and would benefit from an edit to improve the pace and cut repetitions.
‘Don’t You Cry’ by Mary Kubica [UK: MIRA] Buy here
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Nothing is what it seems: DON’T YOU CRY by @MaryKubica #bookreview by @SandraDanby