Rating: 4 stars
Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Park Row Books (Harlequin) via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
Summary: With a four year old and a days old newborn, Clara’s life is turned upside down when her husband dies in a car crash. The incident is immediately determined to be an accident caused by speeding and not paying attention to the road – her husband is the only one responsible for his death. But her 4 year old daughter was in the car at the time and escaped unscathed. Nick wouldn’t have been driving recklessly with her in the car, right? And her little girl keeps talking about “the bad man” and freaks out every time she sees a black car. Why? There were no other cars involved in the accident. And who is this badman? As the days pass, Clara becomes convinced that there is more to the story of her husband’s death, and she won’t rest until she finds what it is.
Review: Wow. This is my second Kubica and I am convinced. The woman knows how to spin a story. From the beginning, I was completely hooked. The story switches between the past and the present and between Clara and Nick as narrators. This approach was genius. We get to see both of their perspectives on the events preceding the accident, get a front seat view of what Clara is going through in the days after, and little clues are spread like so many bread crumbs, seeds of doubt followed by seeds of clarity. And the ending is not at all what I expected.
Aside from being a brilliant mystery, one of the things I love most about this book is the character development and the exploration of Clara and Nick’s relationship, including some of the pitfalls of marriage, even a happy one. The love between them is palpable throughout, but despite that mutual love and respect, Nick’s eagerness to not worry his wife leads him down a rabbit hole that puts everything he loves at risk. An intriguing reminder of how quickly and unexpectedly the littlest of things can snowball.
I will say my singular complaint is that the story ended abruptly. All of this spiraling and then all of a sudden – done. But the story is so smart and so well-written that this small (tiny really) shortcoming didn’t affect my overall reading experience or my rating.
All of the Mary Kubica books on my TBR are bumping up the list. Wonder when her next is coming out??? Whatever it is, I know it will be good!