Pretty Baby

I’m quickly coming to believe that Mary Kubica always delivers a twisting thriller of the utmost quality.

Pretty Baby opens with a Chicago woman noticing a homeless girl and her baby waiting for the train. Heidi Wood is an empathetic woman, and when she gets the chance to help Willow and her baby Ruby, Heidi can’t say no.

Heidi’s husband and daughter are less than thrilled to have Willow and Ruby in the house, not knowing her past nor what she might be capable of. But while Willow may not be as she seems, she’s not the only one with issues.

Kubica is two for two with page turning thrillers that keep you guessing. You know certain things, going in, but you still wonder. But more than anything, Kubica writes complex characters. They aren’t what they seem on the surface. But as you get deeper into their minds, you see that they are so much more than good or bad. The things that motivate them might lead to bed decisions, and an act of kindness might be a cover for selfish behavior.

Pretty Baby doesn’t have any heroes and villains. And while things get wrapped up in the end, you’re likely to have a lot of mixed feelings about the way things turn out. But for me, that’s part of what makes it enjoyable to read, wrestling with how much a person’s past can excuse their behavior, and where to draw the line.

I’m going to have to start following her work closer, instead of waiting to get throwaways from work.

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