I haven’t read a book written by Mary Kubica that I didn’t enjoy reading and this was no exception. It doesn’t follow the usual crime fiction formula, although crimes are suspected and some are committed, it’s much more about the psychological effects of grief.

Clara’s husband Nick is killed in a tragic car accident only a few weeks after she’d given birth to their baby son Felix. Also in the car with Nick at the time of the accident but unhurt was Maisie, their young daughter.

Maisie becomes plagued by fears, anxieties and nightmares about a ‘bad man in a black car’ leading Clare to believe that her husband was in fact murdered and his death not an accident. 

There’s a dual narrative between Nick from before the accident and Clare from afterwards. Slowly we discover that although Nick is the loving husband and father, he has secrets he’s kept from Clara.

Clara’s grief is visceral and palpable. She struggles to accept the facts, is stuck part way between the anger and denial stage of grief and uncovering some of the secrets that have been kept from her nearly leaves her unhinged and vengeful. 

Such a powerful read nearly left me feeling a little unhinged and I couldn’t put this down until I’d finished it. What a fantastic writer Mary Kubica is. I’m now going to read some of her earlier titles that I’ve missed.

Thank you to the author and publisher Harlequin Books for my ARC via NetGalley

About the author (via Mary Kubica.com)

BIOGRAPHY

Mary Kubica is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of four novels, including THE GOOD GIRL, PRETTY BABY, DON’T YOU CRY and EVERY LAST LIE. A former high school history teacher, Mary holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children, where she enjoys photography, gardening and caring for the animals at a local shelter. Her first novel THE GOOD GIRL was an Indie Next pick in August of 2014, received a Strand Critics Nomination for Best First Novel and was a nominee in the Goodreads Choice Awards in Debut Goodreads Author and in Mystery & Thriller for 2014. Mary has been described as “a writer of vice-like control,” (Chicago Tribune) and her novels have been praised as “hypnotic” (People) and “thrilling and illuminating” (Los Angeles Times).
She is currently working on her next novel.
Photo by Sarah Jastre

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