When Michael Stanton goes to work one day and doesn’t come back, everyone – friends, family, police – thinks his pregnant girlfriend Jill should accept he’s left her. After all, he’s done it before. But Jill just won’t believe that Michael would walk away from her and their unborn child. Increasingly desperate and alone, she’s determined to find him. Just where is Michael? What Jill doesn’t know is that his beautiful ex, Anna, wants him back, and won’t take no for an answer.
If you usually read my reviews, you know I can’t say no to a good psychological thriller. So when Baby appeared in my radar, I decided I wanted to read this one. The blurb was mysterious enough and I knew I’d probably enjoy it given my love for psychotic characters doing extreme things.
Baby tells the story of a young man called Michael whose girlfriend Jill is pregnant. Michael used to be kind of a player, but now he has settled down thanks to her. The problem is that one of his ex-girlfriends, a nurse called Anna, hasn’t forgotten about him. So when they meet years later in a bar, Anna drugs and kidnaps him, trying to make him love her again. Meanwhile, Jill is left alone and everyone seems to think Michael has just fled because he wasn’t ready for a kid. But she’s determined to prove they are all wrong. Michael wouldn’t do that to her, would he? But Michael might not be ready to forget about Anna either…
Baby was a fairly short book (less than 300 pages), so yes, I read this in a day. Chapters were short and told from Michael and Jill’s points of view (shocking, right?). However, the author did something unique when changing perspectives, which I thought was great. “While Michael was doing this, Jill was doing that”. Hadn’t seen that technique before and it felt fresh.
The writing was pretty good and what I enjoyed the most about Baby is that I was ALWAYS interested in what the author was telling. The storyline was super addictive and Jill was extremely likable, so I wanted to know what would happen to her. Michael… well, that’s another story. The typical excuse: “he’s a man and he can’t help it” doesn’t work for me and I think the problem is that most people would have never accepted this behavior if the roles had been reversed. So no, I can’t possibly justify Michael’s actions and that’s why I couldn’t connect with him. Anna was a complex character and while she was completely crazy, I also felt sorry for her (which doesn’t mean I understand what she did, which I obviously don’t).
While Baby’s storyline wasn’t very original and it didn’t have a particularly surprising ending, I think it’s still a good book and I would’ve love to read a few more pages about these characters. I felt that, at times, the narration moved rather too quickly (especially at the beginning!) and I would’ve wanted more background on Jill & Michael and Anna & Michael’s relationship. And what about Stuart? I found that part of the book really interesting, and there were only a couple of pages dedicated to him.
All in all, Baby is a good psychological thriller, a fast read and one of those books I never mind picking up and reading. You know which ones I mean: they’re fun to read (even if the topic is not) and you’ll never be disappointed. Addictive and easy to read.
The Conrad Press, 2016
I received a copy of this e-book in exchange for an honest review.