“Caro and Jeff Horne seem to have it all until they learn that Jeff is infertile. Caro married Jeff because her biggest wish was to be a mother, and he had the means to give their children a better life than she’d had. Jeff, who is besotted with Caro, is terrified he will lose her now they can’t have a baby.
Across town, Sharon is eight months pregnant and unsure if she really wants to be a mother. Soon her world will collide with Jeff’s. He wants to keep Caro happy and decides that getting a baby is the only way.
Then Caro is accidentally drawn into an underworld of drugs…
Meanwhile, Jeff is increasingly desperate to find a baby – but what lengths is he prepared to go to?
Is Sharon in danger, and will Caro ever have the family she’s always dreamed of?”
I started Baby Dear thinking it would be a story about infertility, and the heartbreak involved with failed attempts at conceiving a child so I was pleasantly surprised to find it was so much more than that. The book terrifyingly depicts a mans descent into madness as he becomes more and more desperate to fulfil his marital duties and provide his wife with a child.
The story begins with the hook of a prologue, the image of a baby splattered with blood, instantly we know that something very bad is going to happen. Married couple Caro and Jeff are told by doctors that Jeff’s sperm count is non-existent. They had been trying to conceive for a while and the news that having a child together biologically was near impossible hits both of them hard. As Caro begins to drift further and further away from Jeff, he begins to become more and more desperate to provide the child that Caro covets so dearly in an attempt to save his marriage. Another part of town sees Sharon and Craig getting ready to greet their little bundle of joy, only problem being, neither of them are particularly happy about said bundle of joy’s imminent arrival. Unplanned and a little unwanted, Sharon’s unborn child soon becomes the target of Jeff’s hair brained scheme. Luckily for Sharon she is befriended by lone parent Julie, a woman who shows Sharon that motherhood is the greatest gift on earth, and is a loyal friend when disaster strikes.
Brilliantly written, Baby Dear has a host of strong characters which makes this book such a powerful and enjoyable read. I found nearly all the characters completely unlikeable (which I think was the author’s intention), the only characters I did feel connection to were Julie, and Max the detective *swoons*. Rather than a fast paced thriller the author has created a slow burning evocative tale where in parts my heart was aching yet in others my blood was boiling. Narrated in alternating viewpoints, Baby Dear gives the reader full insight into each character and the logic ( albeit skewed) behind their behaviours. This really is one of those “down the rabbit hole” type of stories.
Baby Dear is a compelling and stirring psychological thriller and once started is unputdownable. Thanks to Linda Huber, Bloodhound Books and Sarah Hardy for the advanced reader copy.
Further reading by Linda Huber: Chosen Child – Linda Huber