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. And it isn’t just him she wants…In a maze of captivity, sexual tension and dark desire, Michael battles with his feelings. Does he really want his normal life back, or could there be a future with the woman who terrifies, controls and fascinates him? Baby is a compelling, sexy, disturbing and unforgettable thriller.
A dark and disturbing thriller, Baby, tells the story of Michael and Jill, expecting their first child, whose lives are turned upside down when Michael’s ex-girlfriend, Anna, makes a sudden re-appearance into their lives.
The tone is sinister from the outset, and Marie draws you in completely from the first, perfectly paced chapter. The warning signs are there about Anna, but what follows takes you by surprise.
Baby is well written and flows beautifully. Told through the perspectives of Michael and Jill, Marie has done a great job of keeping the continuity and links what is happening to each character perfectly.
Loss, grief and mental health are major themes in this book. Marie has created a character in Anna that chills you to your bones and yet you can’t help but feel a degree of sympathy for her. I got where she was coming from in relation to what often seems to be a great unfairness in life, especially when you are coming to terms with the fact that something you automatically assume will happen to you is taken away and your life is not going to be how you expected.
Jill’s situation, feelings and frustrations have been written about wonderfully. Marie has totally captured the emotions you would expect someone to feel in her situation. I found myself really empathising with her and was with her every step of the way through the book.
Michael is caught between how his body responds to Anna due to his past relationship with her and his heart and head. I wasn’t, and still aren’t, sure if I liked him or not. I got his responses but at the same time I didn’t, if that makes sense. I would be interested to hear what other people think of him. I wasn’t sure how the book would turn out, as Michael’s thoughts and behaviour, at times, went against how I would expect someone in this situation to react. I really liked this element of the book, it made me contemplate his reactions and I found myself mulling over Baby when I wasn’t reading it. Exactly the effect you want a book to have on you.
You read this book shouting in your head at the characters. So many times I was urging Michael to act in a different way, that may assist him and I felt that frustration of seeing how close Jill was to the truth but not being able to tell her. It’s fair to say I was totally absorbed in this book.
This is a great debut thriller and I look forward to reading more by Marie Campbell. It is tense, dark and creepy…brilliant!
Thank you to Marie Campbell for the copy in exchange for my review.
Published 14 July 2016 by The Conrad Press.