In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate Quinn Collins to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she’s the person Quinn thought she knew. Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where eighteen-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her charm and beauty, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more dark and sinister than he ever expected. As Quinn searches for answers about Esther, and Alex is drawn further under Pearl’s spell, master of suspense Mary Kubica takes readers on a taut and twisted thrill ride that builds to a stunning conclusion and shows that no matter how fast and far we run, the past always catches up with us in the end.
Don’t You Cry starts with one of those sentences that never fail to make me excited for what I’m about to read: “In hindsight, I should have known right away that something wasn’t quite right. The jarring noise in the middle of the night, the open window, the empty bed. Later, I blamed a whole slew of things for my nonchalance, everything from a headache to fatigue, down to arrant stupidity. But still. I should’ve known right away that something wasn’t right…”
The book, as you might know by reading the blurb, is told from two different character perspectives: Quinn and Alex. Quinn is a young twenty-something personal assistant who seems to be rather self-centred (at least at first). She’s in love with a co-worker (who happens to have a girlfriend) and thinks her flatmate is predictable and practically a saint. When the flatmate, Esther, suddenly disappears, Quinn doesn’t know what to think. Everything gets more complicated when she finds a mysterious letter and gets some calls that make her suspect something sinister is going on. Did she really know Esther at all? Or was everything a lie? Meanwhile, Alex is an eighteen year old whose father is an alcoholic. He didn’t go to college and is working at the local diner, not knowing what the future will bring. But then he sees a beautiful young woman and starts following her…
As I started to get to know her, Quinn quickly grew on me and I ended up liking her a lot. I wanted her to find Esther and make everything right. She wasn’t a perfect character (and I loved that), but she was likeable enough and a strong protagonist to root for. If you’re wondering about Alex, you must know that he was a great character too. Moreover, I think I’ll remember him for a long time. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him and thought he was quite sensitive and vulnerable, one of those who certainly gives more than he receives.
What I loved the most about Don’t You Cry was that the story wasn’t predictable at all. I was very confused while reading the first half of the book and I had no idea of what was going on. What will happen next? I couldn’t wait to know. Mary Kubica certainly knows how to write only enough to keep you intrigued and that is something I highly value in psychological thrillers.
If you analyze its pace, DYC seemed to move rather slowly at first, but I’ve never minded that when I’m reading a good story. I highly enjoyed following Quinn’s discoveries and Alex’s infatuation with that woman. Both storylines were eerie and mesmerizing, especially Alex’s.
Then, at some point, I thought about a possibility. Could it be that…? Yes, that must be it! But when I reached the final pages, I found out I was completely wrong (yay!) and the ending took me by surprise. That doesn’t mean there’s a big twist (like in Between You And Me, for example), but simply a believable and satisfying conclusion that tied up all loose ends.
I haven’t read Mary Kubica’s previous books, but after finishing this one, I think I should fix that as soon as possible and order Pretty Baby and The Good Girl immediately.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.