Don't Cry Now by Joy Fielding | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Don't Cry Now

Don't Cry Now

4.2 18
by Joy Fielding

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Bonnie Wheeler had a picture-perfect life: a rewarding job as a schoolteacher, a happy marriage to a successful TV director, a sprawling suburban home, and Amanda, her adorable three-year-old daughter. She'd heard the sordid details about her husband's ex-wife, Joan—the drinking, the instability, the craziness. Then Joan called her with a cryptic


Bonnie Wheeler had a picture-perfect life: a rewarding job as a schoolteacher, a happy marriage to a successful TV director, a sprawling suburban home, and Amanda, her adorable three-year-old daughter. She'd heard the sordid details about her husband's ex-wife, Joan—the drinking, the instability, the craziness. Then Joan called her with a cryptic warning—you're in danger, you and Amanda. But when Joan is found murdered and Bonnie is the prime suspect, she knows this is no game. Suddenly her secure world is crashing in around her. Things she once believed in are lies. People she thought she knew have shocking secrets to reveal. Desperate to know who intends to harm her daughter, Bonnie is caught in a frantic race to keep Amanda safe—even as she feels her own grasp on reality slipping....

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Despite crisp prose and sharp dialogue, this latest thriller from Fielding (Tell Me No Secrets) disappoints due to a meandering plot full of implausible twists. Bonnie Wheeler, 34, a suburban Boston high-school teacher with ``cheerleader good looks,'' is contemplating playing hookey to go to Miami for a few days with her TV-director husband, Rod, when his alcoholic ex-wife, Joan, calls to warn that Bonnie and her three-year-old daughter, Amanda, are in danger. After reluctantly agreeing to meet to learn more, Bonnie arrives at the rendezvous only to discover Joan's gunshot, blood-soaked body. A kindly sort, Bonnie winds up asking Rod and Joan's teenagers, Sam and Lauren, to move in with her, Rod and Amanda. When a hooded stranger dumps a pail of blood on Amanda, followed by other threatening events, Bonnie understands the truth of Joan's warning and does some sleuthing to find the murderer. Her unlikely list of suspects includes Rod, who was the beneficiary of Joan's life insurance; Sam and his strange friend, Haze; a fellow teacher; and even her own brother, an ex-con living with Bonnie's estranged father and stepmother. As further deaths follow, suspense builds slowly before peaking in the novel's surprising but unconvincing (for its pseudo-Greek tragic revelation) conclusion. Author tour. (June)
Library Journal
The author of such best sellers as See Jane Run (LJ 3/15/91) has had a field day writing her heroines into dangerous situations and then pulling them to safety, bloodied but unbowed. In her latest, violence shatters the formerly comfortable world of a woman and her daughter.
Melanie Duncan
The only fly in the perfumed ointment of Bonnie Wheeler's picture-perfect life is her husband's ex-wife, Joan, and someone close to her has just swatted the fly with a .38 revolver. Because Bonnie found the body and had a peculiar relationship to the deceased, the police start their search for a murderer with her. Terrified, she tells the police that Joan called her to warn her that her life was in danger and to set up a meeting. Now Joan's death sets in motion events that lead Bonnie to question everyone and everything around her. Why couldn't her husband be found when he was supposed to be at work? Why is her estranged brother's name in Joan's address book? Why was a scrapbook detailing Bonnie's life found in Joan's bedroom? Why don't Joan's children react normally to their mother's death? As Bonnie searches for answers, mysterious accidents occur that threaten her and her daughter's lives as a sociopathic murderer moves in for the kill. Fielding provides an intricately plotted thriller, with the possible killer changing from page to page as Bonnie ties the myriad clues together to form a complex whole. A definite must for Fielding fans and a new find for fans of Mary Higgins Clark.
From the Publisher
"A page-turner...maintains the suspense until the last surprising moment." — Maclean's

"Well-crafted...A winner." — Toronto Sun

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.00(d)

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Read an Excerpt

Bonnie pulled her white Caprice into the driveway of 430 Lombard Street at exactly twelve thirty-eight—there'd been an accident on the Mass turnpike and it had taken her over half an hour to get there—parking directly be hind Joan's red Mercedes. Joan was obviously doing very well for herself, Bonnie decided. Despite the fluctuations in the real estate market, she seemed to have survived the latest prolonged slump quite nicely. But then, Joan was a survivor. It was only those around her who perished.

This house shouldn't be too difficult to sell, Bonnie thought, squinting into the cool sun as she walked past the large sign on the front lawn that announced the open house and mounted the outside steps to the front porch. The house was two stories high and wood-framed, like most of the homes in this upscale suburb of Boston, and it had recently received a coat of white paint. The front door was black and slightly ajar. Bonnie knocked timidly, then pushed the door open farther. Immediately, she heard voices coming from one of the back rooms. A man and a woman. Maybe Joan. Maybe not. Possibly in the middle of an argument. It was hard to tell. At any rate, she wouldn't eavesdrop. She'd wait a few minutes, cough discreetly a few times, let them deduce someone else was in the house.

Bonnie looked around, helping herself to one of the many fact sheets that loan had left stacked on a small bench in the front foyer next to an open guest register. According to the information on the sheet, the house was three thousand square feet over two floors, with four bed rooms and a finished basement. A wide center staircase divided the house into two equal halves, the living room to oneside, the dining room to the other. The kitchen and family room were at the back. A powder room was some where in between.

Bonnie cleared her throat softly, then again, more loudly. The voices continued. Bonnie checked her watch, wandered into the beige and cream-colored living room. She'd have to leave soon. As it was, she'd be late getting back, miss the first part of the lecture on how today's schools had to adapt to today's teens. She checked her watch again, tapped her foot on the hardwood floor. This was ridiculous. While she hated to interrupt Joan while she was trying to make a sale, the fact was that the woman had insisted she be here before one o'clock, and it was almost that now. "Joan,'' she called out, returning to the hall, walking down the corridor toward the kitchen.

The voices continued as if she hadn't spoken. She heard snatches—"Well, if this health plan is implemented . . ." "That's a pretty lamebrained assessment."—and wondered what was going on. Why would people—Joan, of all people—be involved in such a discussion at such a time? ''I'm going to have to cut you off, caller," the man's voice suddenly announced. "You don't know what you're talking about and I feel like listening to some music. How about the always classic sound of Nirvana?''

It was the radio. "Jesus Christ," Bonnie muttered. She'd been wasting her time discreetly coughing so that a rude radio host could finish hurling invectives at some hapless caller! Who's the crazy lady here? she wondered, losing her patience, raising her voice over the sudden onslaught of sound that was Nirvana. "Joan,'' she called, stepping into the yellow and white kitchen, seeing Joan at the long pine kitchen table, her large sable eyes clouded over with booze, her mouth slightly open, about to speak.

Except that she didn't speak. And she didn't move. Not even as Bonnie approached, waving her hand in front of the woman's face, not even as she reached out to shake her shoulder. "Joan, for God's sake. . ."

She wasn't sure at what precise moment she realized that Joan was dead. It might have been when she saw the bright patch of crimson that was splattered across the front of Joan's white silk blouse like an abstract work of art. Or perhaps it was when she saw the gaping dark hole between her breasts, and felt blood on her hands, warm and sticky, like syrup. Maybe it was the awful combination of smells, real or imagined, that was suddenly pushing its way toward her nose that convinced her. Or maybe it was the screams shooting from her mouth like stray bullets, the ungodly sound creating a strangely appropriate harmony with Nirvana.

Or maybe it was the woman in the doorway screaming with her, the woman with her arms full of groceries who stood paralyzed against the far wall, the bags of groceries glued to her sides, as if they were all that were keeping her upright.

Bonnie walked over to her, the woman recoiling in horror as Bonnie pried the groceries from her arms. "Don't hurt me," the woman pleaded. ''Please don't hurt me."

"Nobody's going to hurt you," Bonnie assured her calmly, laying the bags on the counter and wrapping one arm around the shaking woman. The other arm reached toward the wall phone and quickly pressed in 911. In a clear voice she gave the operator the address and told her that a woman appeared to have been shot. Then she led the still-trembling owner of the house into the living room where she sat down beside her on the textured tan sofa. Then she put her head between her knees to keep from fainting and waited for the police to arrive.

Copyright ) 1995 by Joy Fielding, Inc.

Meet the Author

Joy Fielding is the author of the acclaimed New York Times best-seller The First Time, and other bestselling novels including Whispers and Lies, The Other Woman, Grand Avenue and See Jane Run. She divides her time between Toronto and Palm Beach.

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