How often do we walk past people that might be in need of our help and do nothing? How often do we toss a few dollars or coins at someone that looks like they could use more? How much can we trust someone we don’t really know?

In Mary Kubica’s Pretty Baby, Heidi Wood sees a young girl struggling with a baby on the platform of the train station one chilly day. For a few days after, Heidi keeps seeing that same girl, and wonders if there is anything she can do to help. When she can’t stand it any longer, Heidi offers to take the girl, Willow, and her baby in and help get them on their feet.

Heidi’s husband, Chris, is less than welcoming to the thought of a homeless girl and her infant child staying in his home. As Chris and Heidi learn more and more about Willow and her history, they have to decide how far they’re willing to go for a stranger. Things become complicated when people start to get attached.

I must admit that I am already a fan of Kubica. Last year, I read The Good Girl and the suspense and plot twists of that story were amazing. I anticipated that the newest work from Kubica, Pretty Baby, would be just as psychologically thrilling and exciting and I was right.

I won’t give away any spoilers but I promise you, the ending is a crowd-pleaser. With each chapter, the reader gains more and more information on the fates of these people and what they might be hiding. A tangled web leads to a pretty large confrontation.

If you’re looking for a new summer read in the veins of Tana French, Paula Hawkins or Gillian Flynn then this is the book for you.


Emma Kanagaki is a Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive.