Cover image for Cradle and all
Cradle and all
Fox, Zachary Alan.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Kensington Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
392 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


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When strange accidents begin happening to their eight-month-old son Alex, Kate McDonald, a social worker, and her husband Paul, a deputy D.A., are accused of child abuse and are plunged into a nightmarish world that forces Kate to confront dark secrets from her past.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

These two thrillers about how families cope when bad things happen to their children provide enough terror to spook even the most grounded of parents. In Staub's All the Way Home, Rory has successfully escaped her hometown by attending college across the country. She doesn't want to go home for the summer, but guilt makes her do it. Being home means facing her past, and vivid memories of the summer 10 years ago when her sister and her best friend disappeared continue to haunt Rory's every moment. Equally troubling is the condition of her mother, who was traumatized by the disappearances and never quite regained her mental stability. Rory spends the summer trying to forget the past but is forced to relive it when someone wants to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the disappearances with more child abductions. Although the novel occasionally adopts an awkwardly lighthearted tone given its gory subject, it succeeds as an engrossing, suspenseful thriller. Even grittier is Fox's Cradle and All, about a mother trying to do the right thing. Kate is an emergency room social worker whose day-to-day experiences ought to have hardened her to all forms of trauma. Not so, she finds out, when her 10-month-old son wakes up with mysterious injuries. Ironically, Kate soon finds herself in the position of many of her patients: being investigated for child abuse. Kate knows she did not and could not have done such things to her own baby, and we want to believe her. But there's something in her past that looms like a storm cloud over this seemingly stable, happily married woman, and the author artfully keeps the reader guessing as to what it might be. Finally, as the events of the past come to light, the story winds and curves to one more surprising twist. A well-crafted suspense novel. --Mary Frances Wilkens

Publisher's Weekly Review

The latest psychological thriller by the author of All Fall Down deftly spins together terrifying elementsÄchild abuse, kidnapping, mysterious illnesses and a deranged stalkerÄto create the ultimate nightmare for a new mother. Kate McDonald is a social worker at an L.A. hospital; her husband, Paul, is a deputy district attorney. The couple are ecstatic about their eight-month-old son, Alex, but when the boy suffers one mishap after anotherÄrats in his crib, a case of swine flu, evidence of ligature marksÄthe Mcdonalds are suspected of abusing him. At the same time, Kate suffers dizziness and blackouts, and she receives frightening messages on her computer. To complicate things, she discovers Paul has been unfaithful and threatens divorce; he retaliates by trying to prove her mentally ill, accusing her of Munchausen's syndrome. When someone kidnaps Alex, Kate accepts the help of policeman Nick Cerovic to try to find her baby. Their hunt for clues means digging into Kate's tragic past, a saga that includes another failed marriage and a dead child. Though she was cleared of wrongdoing, her husband now is convinced of her guilt in both cases. To add to the nightmare, Kate is further plagued by a bizarre stalker obsessed with making her suffer. Kate is so pugnacious and defensive throughout her ordeal, however, that readers may find her difficult to care for. Her plight is horrifying, demanding much emotional and mental strength, yet Fox chooses to foreground her beauty as her defining trait, effectively limiting the reader's emotional involvement. The story is briskly told, however, and there are enough suspenseful plot twists and surprises to keep pages turning until the high-voltage denouement. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved