I decided to not follow the old saying of not judging a book by its over when I used the cover to choose this book for today’s review. As I’ve mentioned before our local dollar store has a great collection of eclectic books and this one promising a mystery with a pregnant heroine was one I was eager to get into.
The book opens simply with a prologue chapter rich in details that have seem to have nothing to do with the rest of the book till it’s final chapters. All other chapters are told by our narrator, Emily. The back cover describes her as someone who has both an unknown stalker and who had a terrifying encounter in college. Emily’s first words tell us the moments were in fact part of a heinous crime that changed her life. Even as someone who watches lots of Law and Order series, this really took me aback, almost to the point of giving up on the book, yet I pressed on.
Despite Emily telling us a lot about her life past and present, she turns out to be an unreliable narrator. I don’t mind that in mysteries, but some of what we learn she was unreliable about comes as a sucker punch to her husband and us as readers.
The author has come up with a lot of interesting characters especially that of Caroline who is missing. We learn a lot more about Caroline than anyone besides Emily including characters who we learn are behind stalking, kidnapping and possibly murder. This makes it hard to accept the ending and even who the guilty parties are as they feel like two dimensional characters, not to mention for one of them most readers will feel cheated as this character was barely part of the story till the denouncement.
I also feel the author threw in the pregnancy as a way to make her narrator more interesting, yet she has only a vague idea of what mid and late term pregnancy is like for many women. For example she has her character have had several miscarriages and yet she has her drink wine a few times and take chances in her investigation, that I feel no woman who had had previous miscarriages would realistically do. She also mentions feeling the baby move around here and there yet not one unpleasant pregnancy symptom.
I don’t know if the author has ever been pregnant, and if she has she had (a) very unusually easy pregnancy/ies, but regardless, speaking to even two pregnant women for research would have changed what she included.
I love mysteries overall, yet this one was just too unrealistic to enjoy or recommend.
Rating – one baby bootie out of five