Don’t Cry: Don’t Cry, Book 1

Don't CryAuthor: Beverly Barton
Book Name: Don’t Cry
Series: Don’t Cry
Order: #1
Genre: Suspense/Romance
Rating:  Good

Blurb:  Nowhere To Run

The crime scenes are horrifying: the victims arranged with deliberate care, posed to appear alive despite their agonized last moments and the shocking nature of their deaths.

No Place To Hide

Chattanooga grief counselor Audrey Sherrod moonlights for the local police. It’s clear to her, and to Special Agent J.D. Cass, that the murders are the work of a deranged serial killer. At first, the only link is the victims’ similar physical appearance. But then another connection emerges, tying them to a long-ago series of horrifying crimes Audrey hoped would never resurface–crimes that hit all too close to home.

No Time To Cry

Each grisly new discovery proves the past has not been forgotten, and the worst is yet to come. Audrey went looking for the truth and she’s about to find it. . .and it will be more twisted and more terrifying than she ever imagined. . .

Review:  Please note, this will contain some big spoilers.  There is just no real way for me to write about this one without doing that.  Sorry!

All the way through this book until I hit about the last 10-15%, I thought this was a pretty good book, a bit creepy and twisted, but good.  When I hit that point, though, things kind of started to fall apart.  I had a few bits here and there that were bugging me, but I was still ready to give this a much higher rating until towards the end.

There is a whole lot of personal drama going on here between all kinds of characters outside of the bigger crime thread of this book and we get to see all that going down by getting it handed to us through all those different characters points of view.  It got kind of confusing at times and took a little while to get used to the flow of the writing.  This wasn’t huge, but it was an annoyance.

Another minor, but still annoying issue was more of a realistic/factual thing not really meeting up or meshing with how this was written.  The crimes are written such that you have a woman cradling and rocking a child (either dead or alive, the position is still the same), yet that child is between 2 and 3 years old.  Children of that age are usually way too big to be cradled.  You can sit them on your lap, but you can’t really cradle them unless they are on the really small side, at least not without it being extremely awkward and difficult.  This issue made it incredibly hard to really visualize this set up accurately because it is written as though you would hold and rock an infant, not a toddler.  This tripped me up almost every time it was mentioned.

You spend the entire book digging through all that drama and trying to following what gets revealed about the murders and you have a pretty good idea that there is probably something hinky going on with Blake’s abduction.  You don’t know, but you realize at a decent point in the story that it is at least a possibility.  That is fine.  You keep reading and keep that in the back of your mind.

Then we get the huge, insanely coincidental bad guy reveal.  It wouldn’t be that big of a deal if the character connects didn’t twist and turn and intertwine like a backwoods inbred family tree.  What are the chances that the bad guy ends up dating Audrey, the sister of one of the kids that was supposedly kidnapped all those years ago?  The bad guy that was the twin brother of the baby that the crazy mom killed and then replaced by kidnapping said kids?  The bad guy that when he was a boy was adopted out to some other family?  Oh, and let’s twist that a bit tighter because Blake, Audrey’s brother, wasn’t actually one of those kids.

As crazy and totally unreal as all those twists and turns are, that isn’t even what I had the biggest problem with (and that wasn’t a tiny one to begin with).  No, I had a problem with all the insane that vomited all over the pages AFTER the bad guy went down.  We new there was a chance of stuff with Blake.  We had a pretty good idea that there was a huge chance that it was either Enid or Hart that caused his death and expected it to be found out after the bad guy was caught and they didn’t find Blake’s body.  The problem I had was that Garth, this respected, apparently well liked, police officer of many years goes off the rails when it is about to come out and kills Hart and tries to kill Audrey.  All to protect his seriously depressed sister, who has now been dead for more than 20 years.  That made absolutely no sense at all and was a level of drama that was completely unnecessary.

Don’t even get me started on how badly every single police officer involved apparently dropped the ball with regards to searching after Blake was reported missing to have missed his body in a freezer and then just later in the week after he disappears, the freshly planted rose in the back yard.  So believable!

It also basically stated that serious crazy and mental health issues run in families because the bad guy family had Bad Guy, Bad Guy’s Mom, Bad Guy’s Uncle/Dad and then you have Enid, her son Hart and her brother Garth.  Funny how every single one of those characters are dead by the end of the book except Bad Guy who ends up in a mental institution.

Sorry, but that is all just too much.  WAY too much.  Sadly, all of that makes this one of those books that has a lot of good and a lot of bad all mixed together, leaving a book that is just decent.