Sunday 15 September 2013

Review - The Cry by Helen Fitzgerald

The CryThe Cry by Helen Fitzgerald
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1.5 days

Publisher - Faber and Faber

Blurb from Goodreads

He's gone. And telling the truth won't bring him back...

When a baby goes missing on a lonely roadside in Australia, it sets off a police investigation that will become a media sensation and dinner-table talk across the world.

Lies, rumours and guilt snowball, causing the parents, Joanna and Alistair, to slowly turn against each other.

Finally Joanna starts thinking the unthinkable: could the truth be even more terrible than she suspected? And what will it take to make things right?

The Cry is a dark psychological thriller with a gripping moral dilemma at its heart and characters who will keep you guessing on every page.

'Fitzgerald is dark, clever, highly inventive.'

'FitzGerald excels at twisting the reader's expectations and turning our assumptions on their heads.' The List

My Review

This is a story about Joanna, Alistair and their baby Noah, more characters come into play but these three are the starting point. On a long haul flight from Glasgow to Australia, a distraught Joanna tries to console and quieten an even more distraught and screaming Noah. Once they arrive in Australia Noah goes missing. People are interviewed from the plane, speculation is rife, the news and police are all over it and Joanna and Alistair are hiding a big secret that will threaten everything they have. This is a story that looks at a relationship and what a traumatic event like this can do to a couple and how easily things can spiral out of control.

I went to the author event launch for this book, tickets were free and I wasn't sure what to expect as I had only read one of her books. She read two excerpts from the story, the very beginning and near the end, I had to buy a copy immediately and find out what happens.

Everyone judges people and this book gets into that when the world speculates on what happened to Noah, the Internet is used to show how quickly people make up their own minds and get involved. The heart of the book is centered on the relationship between Joanna, Alistair, his ex wife Alexandra and her daughter Chloe. You find out very early on what happened to the baby so it isn't a who done it or mystery, it focuses on the relationships, manipulation, blame, loss, grief, deceit, anger and hurt, to name a few of the themes going on.

The character are very well carved out, great emotion is evoked when you get a feel for them and some of the choices they make. I went through different emotions with Joanna, I felt for the ex wife and her daughter and I hated Alistair with a passion. The story flips around from the initial lead up to the baby's journey, him going missing, to months later and then back to the initial time period at the start of the tale. Joanna's voice starts the tale and then we flip to Alexandra's, the two time periods and hearing the same events through two people are fantastically done. This doesn't always work out well in stories as I feel you can get confused with the time jumps let alone bringing a second voice into it. Fitzgerald does it with an ease that you follow exactly what is going on without having to jump back a page or two to see who is talking or what time period it is. Also the chapters are listed by whose voice it is in case anyone does have problems following and the month is also listed so you know where in the time scale the story is. The chapters are fairly small, which is always a favorite with me, I found this book hard to put down. Had work not got in the way I would have easily read this in one sitting, this book will take you on an emotional roller coaster and stay with you long after you have finished it. It has taken me days to decide how I would write this review as I have so much to say about things within it however I do not do spoiler reviews so it took a lot of thought. I would recommend this book to everyone, no matter what genre you like as it is a great read that packs a punch and leaves you wanting more. 5/5 for me and I already have a few more by this author on my tbr so I will be reading her again. If she continues along this path I may have to put her on my favorite writers list.

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  1. I've only read Bloody Women and The Donor, but I'm already a Helen Fitzgerald fan. Glad you liked this one so much Lainy - I'll look out for it...

  2. I do remember your mentioning this one from the author event. It sounds fantastic! Sounds like an engaging read and like the author goes through the different time frames seamlessly. Thanks for the recommendation.

  3. This sounds an absolute cracker Lainy! I love your review. Definitely going to buy this one now. x

  4. I’ve been waiting to see what you though of it since you went to the author event. It sounds fab and just like something I want to read. Thanks for your excellent review.

  5. Thanks for stopping by my Mailbox Monday.

    In answer to your question about my header: The photo was taken in Portree, Scotland. It is an adorable piece of heaven there. :)

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