Mystery Cradle And All

ISBN 13: 9781575664385

Cradle And All

3.77 avg rating
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9781575664385: Cradle And All

When strange accidents begin happening to their eight-month-old son Alex, Kate McDonald--a social worker--and her husband Paul--a deputy D.A.--are accused of child abuse and are plunged into a nightmarish world that forces Kate to confront dark secrets from her past.

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From Publishers Weekly:

The latest psychological thriller by the author of All Fall Down deftly spins together terrifying elementsAchild abuse, kidnapping, mysterious illnesses and a deranged stalkerAto create the ultimate nightmare for a new mother. Kate McDonald is a social worker at an L.A. hospital; her husband, Paul, is a deputy district attorney. The couple are ecstatic about their eight-month-old son, Alex, but when the boy suffers one mishap after anotherArats in his crib, a case of swine flu, evidence of ligature marksAthe Mcdonalds are suspected of abusing him. At the same time, Kate suffers dizziness and blackouts, and she receives frightening messages on her computer. To complicate things, she discovers Paul has been unfaithful and threatens divorce; he retaliates by trying to prove her mentally ill, accusing her of Munchausen's syndrome. When someone kidnaps Alex, Kate accepts the help of policeman Nick Cerovic to try to find her baby. Their hunt for clues means digging into Kate's tragic past, a saga that includes another failed marriage and a dead child. Though she was cleared of wrongdoing, her husband now is convinced of her guilt in both cases. To add to the nightmare, Kate is further plagued by a bizarre stalker obsessed with making her suffer. Kate is so pugnacious and defensive throughout her ordeal, however, that readers may find her difficult to care for. Her plight is horrifying, demanding much emotional and mental strength, yet Fox chooses to foreground her beauty as her defining trait, effectively limiting the reader's emotional involvement. The story is briskly told, however, and there are enough suspenseful plot twists and surprises to keep pages turning until the high-voltage denouement. (Aug.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

An overblown suspenser about a madwoman stalking a thoroughly good woman in ways you wouldn't believe. Kate McDonald is married to a rising young deputy D.A. with whom she shares 3,500 square feet in upscale Brentwood, California, and leads the good life. Deservedly. Kate is a devoted social worker at demanding Midtown Memorial Hospital, a picture-perfect helpmate, and, above all, the very model of a modern mother to eight-month-old Alex. But suddenly the good life takes a nauseating turn, and Katebewildered, helplessfinds herself witnessing the piece-by-piece dismantling of her world. The process begins with the awful threat that comes scrolling across her computer screen one day: ``Your baby is going to diea message that disappears so fast she's not even sure she's seen it. But the appalling messages keep coming, as do the threatening phone calls. And then theres the thing with the rats. And the other thing with swine fever. And the herpes, the poison, the infidelity (her husband's), the conspiracy (her boss's). And on and on. Whos doing this to her? Who hates her enough? Why is everyone convinced she's lying? She has no answers. It's a particularly unkind cut when a quack of a psychologist diagnoses something called ``Munchausen's syndrome by proxy''meaning that in his view she's been making up stories because she's starved for her attention. So her marriage ends. She's threatened with arrest. She's fired. Alex is kidnaped. And even then the blows continue to rain on Job-like Kate while, for the reader, the suspension of disbelief gets harder and harder. Less would have been more for Fox (When the Wind Blows, 1998, etc.), a writer of the school of plot-till-you-drop. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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