Monday, October 7, 2013

#BookReview: Hush Little Baby by Suzanne Redfearn

To the casual observer, Jillian Kane leads a charmed life.  An architect, a mother of two and wife of a police officer, she's also a victim of domestic abuse.  Her husband, Gordon, has been beating her for the smallest infractions for the last nine years and no one else knows.  The neighborhood moms, her co-workers, not even her parents realize that Jillian is Gordon's personal punching bag.

There comes a day when Jillian decides she can no longer take it.  Her son, Drew, is becoming rebellious and Jillian suspects that he knows what's going on.  And even though Gordon would never hurt their adorable daughter, Addie, Jillian can't risk it.  She could leave the kids behind, after all, she would be the first to admit that her maternal instincts have never really kicked in.
If I stay, he will kill me. If I leave, he'll destroy Addie and Drew. 
I love the way Suzanne Redfearn develops her characters.  She gives Gordon absolutely no redeeming qualities except one, he saved Jillian's father when he had a stroke.  Jillian is not the mom I would friend of all the moms on my kid's soccer team.  It's not that she's unlikeable, but she's distant, wrapped up in her own problems and too busy for small talk.  And unlike other characters that we read about that have no means of leaving, she's a well off woman.  So you keep asking why does she stay, why has she endured this for nine years?

Redfearn tackles this age old question in a way that I can't recall reading about in recent years.  The psychological games that abusers play, the weaknesses that they prey upon and the Jekyll/Hyde-like personality that they display for the outside world and those that they are abusing are all laid out.  I'm almost ashamed of how fascinated I was with the traps Gordon set for Jill that she repeatedly walked into.  He's a master manipulator and it became obvious that he'd been waiting on her to make a move for awhile.  In that way, it was reminiscent of the cat and mouse game Amy played with Nick in Gone Girl.

This was such a good read.  If you're looking for this year's Gone Girl-like thriller, this is it.

Published: October 2013
Disclaimer: Copy of book received from publisher, opinions are my own.

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