DON'T CRY NOW by Joy Fielding


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Another suburban supermom in peril, from a master of the supermom-in-peril genre (Tell Me No Secrets, 1993, etc.). ""You're in danger. You and Amanda,"" Rod Wheeler's first wife, Joan, tells his second, Bonnie, hours before Joan herself is shot and killed. But where could the danger be coming from, since everybody around Bonnie is so sinister? Joan's orphaned kids, Sam and Lauren, snap out of their apathy only long enough to announce that they want nothing to do with Bonnie; Sam's doped-out buddy Haze Gleason is full of adolescent innuendo and threats; Josh Freeman, a lonely fellow-teacher at Bonnie's school, turns up with suspiciously convenient timing just when she feels most threatened -- as does her brother Nick, just out of prison for conspiracy to kill. Even Rod is unnervingly and adventurously amorous at the strangest times -- maybe, Bonnie can't help worrying, because he's really having an affair with his boss, bubbleheaded talk-show host Maria Brenzelle. Bonnie discovers Joan's body in an empty house, gets tabbed as the prime suspect by the local law, has to contend with Sam's pet boa constrictor, frets about three-year-old Amanda, and finds herself so sick -- grindingly, debilitatingly sick -- that she wonders whether she could be pregnant or HIV-positive. Unlike Mary Higgins Clark, with whom she's so often compared, Fielding doesn't give her threatened heroines much in the way of perks, designer outfits, or social support; as Bonnie stumbles through day after numbing day, everything and everybody in her world turns luridly threatening. The result is more tension, greater emotional range and depth, and a sense of danger more acute and epidemic than anything Clark's damsels-in-cozy-distress will ever have to endure -- capped, finally, by more wrenching revelations at the climax. Domestic menace at its most menacing.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1995
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Morrow