22 October 2013

Review: THE CRY, Helen Fitzgerald

  • Published 2013, Faber & Faber UK
  • ISBN 978-0-571-28770-3
  • 307 pages
  • source: library book
Synopsis (Amazon)

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.

My Take

Anybody who has flown a long flight, say Glasgow to Dubai, in the company of a small child, or been sitting near one, can empathise with the situation when the child constantly cries. That's where we start with Joanna and Alistair and their baby Noah. For Joanna this becomes the trip from hell, although Alistair seems to be able to sleep through it all. The second leg of the journey from Dubai to Melbourne is only a little better.

The journey starts badly at departure when airport security declares that the bottles that Joanna's antibiotics and Noah's Calpol are too big. That leads Joanna into making a crucial error.

The family is on its way to Melbourne so that Alistair can claim custody of his teenage daughter from his ex-wife who brought Chloe back to Australia illegally. When Noah goes missing from the car when they are driving to Geelong, the custody of Chloe still looms large for Alistair in particular. It becomes even more crucial when Noah remains missing.

This story twists in directions the reader just couldn't predict. The general public becomes involved in the search for Noah not only through media releases but also through social networking like Facebook and Twitter. Joanna and her reactions to her baby's disappearance come under public scrutiny, with the rumour mill coming perilously close to the truth.

Although firmly set in Australia (Joanna and Alistair land in Melbourne when small towns near Geelong are threatened by bushfires) the setting could almost be anywhere and Helen Fitzgerald has the reader asking how they would have reacted in similar circumstances.

A really good read, touching issues that go well beyond the disappearance of a baby.

My rating: 4.7

See other reviews
I've also reviewed

Novels by Helen Fitzgerald (from Fantastic Fiction)

Dead Lovely (2007)
My Last Confession (2009)
The Devil's Staircase (2009)
Bloody Women (2009)
Amelia O'Donohue Is So Not a Virgin (2010)
Hot Flush (2011)
The Donor (2011)
Deviant (2013)
The Cry (2013)

About the author (Fantastic Fiction)

Helen FitzGerald is one of thirteen children and grew up in Victoria, Australia. She nows lives in Glasgow with her husband and two children. Helen has worked as a parole officer and social worker for over ten years. Her first novel, Dead Lovely, was published in 2007.

See the author's blog.


Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - Oh, that sounds like a great read! In fact, it's on the nomination list for my book club next month, so we may be reading that. If not, I'll want to read it anyway.

Irene said...

Sounds very good. Thank you.

Marce said...

I recently read and enjoyed also, need to do my review. I have also read The Donor which I enjoyed more.

Very interesting story and I enjoyed the journey.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin