Title: The Cry
Author: Helen Fitzgerald
Opening lines: ‘…It was the fault of airport security …’
THE CRY is going to be very hard to review because the reader gets to know most of the secret very early on but it would spoil it to mention it to someone who hasn’t read it. What I CAN say though is that a baby goes missing. The story starts before the baby is reported missing and takes the reader behind the events leading up to the reporting and the subsequent events that follow. Clear as mud? Well you will just have to read it for yourself.
The story opens as Joanna, Alistair and their newborn son, Noah, leave the UK for a long haul flight to Melbourne, Australia, so Alistair can attend a custody hearing for his daughter from a previous marriage. Joanna is ill and Noah will not stop crying; while Alistair sleeps blissfully for most of the flight Joanna is at her wits end getting no help for the air staff and nothing other than grumblings from the other passengers. Joanne does get a bit of sleep towards the end of the flight and they all get into a rental car and drive south of Melbourne to Alistair’s mothers place. The story switches to the ex-wife, Alexandra, and daughter Chloe. Alex sees internet breaking news reports that baby Noah has gone missing – taken from the back of the rental car as Joanna and Alistair stop at a small grocery shop and leave the baby in the back of the car. There is a huge hunt for the missing child, and the usual trial by media that we come to expect nowadays. In fact Helen Fitzgerald has done an amazing job over portraying the role of media and how what is being said in the public domain differs from what is actually happen, for instance, Joanna is poker faced and without emotion because she is doped up on valium not cold and heartless. So not only do Noah’s parents go through the hell of losing their child, they have the horror of media saturation to tend with. Everyone has an opinion as to what happened, and everyone feels that it is their God-given right to express it without any thought as to the impact of their words.
THE CRY is very good, it is distressing, it is a study on manipulation and guilt and I just wanted to slap Alistair, what a horrible, horrible character he was – but he is spin doctor for a political party so using the media and manipulating people and events is what comes naturally to him. But while he seems to grow stronger in the crisis Joanna descends into hell and loses all sense of reality. The reader can feel the tension build and just knows that something has to give – and it does. Once the climax has been reached though there can be healing although how a parent can come back from that is anyone’s guess. The story is told mostly from either Joanna’s or Alexandra’s points of view and while the reader thinks they know what is going on there is a twist that I had never even thought of that triggers climax. A definite psychological thriller set in an average family, which makes so scarily plausible.
Rating: B – Great. I really enjoyed reading it and it is a book I will be recommending to all my friends who like this genre.
For more about the author – Click Here
The Cry by Helen Fitzgerald is book # 6 for AWW2014