Most helpful positive review
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on 2 May 2011
I've not read any books by Beverly Barton before and didn't know what to expect when I picked up Don't Cry. What I found was that I was gripped by a well-plotted, fluidly-written and interesting book with a range of characters and an interesting puzzle to solve.
When a woman's body is found in a rocking chair cradling a toddler's skeleton it is the start of a series of deaths, each with a baby skeleton. The Rocking Chair Killer, as he is called, seems to have the key to a decades-old mystery of what happened to five dead toddlers who were snatched by a woman. Although a sixth toddler was found alive with Regina Bennett, she never revealed what happened with the previous five.
This story focuses around Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Special Agent JD Cass who is working on the Rocking Chair Killer case at the same time as trying to build a bond with his fourteen-year-old daughter Zoe who has recently come to live with him after the death of her mother. We also follow events from the viewpoint of grief counselor Audrey Sherrod whose baby brother Blake was one of the toddler victims all those years ago. In fact, a large proportion of those working on the case have some links with it, which I did find perhaps a trifle too coincidental.
There are several possible characters who could actually be the Rocking Chair Killer and the author does a good job of introducing them and showing their possible motivation. The actual killer, when revealed at the end, wasn't a surprise to me, but the small twist in the story was, although there were hints to it right at the beginning.
There's a slow-burn romance throughout the story which worked really well. Pacing was good and I liked the way the author writes, but with one exception. She seems to have a bit of an obsession with adjectives, as this extract from Chapter 4 shows: "She filled the white enamel kettle with fresh water and placed it on the Jenn-Air range to heat. A hint of daylight peeked through the closed blinds of her Walnut Hill town house as she padded around on the Brazilian Cherry hardwood floor, set out her favourite teacup on the countertop, and removed a bag of Earl Grey from the maple cupboard." To me, we could do without white, enamel, Jenn-Air, Walnut Hill, Brazilian Cherry and maple at least as they don't really add anything to the story.
All in all I very much enjoyed reading this story and look forward to another book from this author's flowing, confident, blue Mont Blanc pen.
Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2011