cover image A Special Relationship

A Special Relationship

Douglas Kennedy, Atria, $16 trade paper (432p) ISBN 978-1-4391-9913-8

When American journalist Sally Goodchild, the narrator of Kennedy's fast-paced latest (after Leaving the World), meets British reporter Tony Hobbs on a Red Cross helicopter over Somalia, the attraction is instant. The two reporters escape death at gunpoint, surviving to file their stories and begin a romance that results in Sally's unexpected pregnancy. Taking a leap of faith, the two decide to raise the baby in London, but health problems complicate the pregnancy, and Sally's soon unemployed. With less independence than ever, Tony acting increasingly distant, and the difficult birth of their son, Jack, Sally is struck with severe postpartum depression and enters a psychiatric ward. Soon after she leaves the hospital, however, she discovers that Tony has led a secret life that will have devastating repercussions. Though there's little room for nuance, the narrative has the momentum of a bullet train and makes up for what it lacks in sophistication with hard-charging emotional challenges fraught with tension. (Jan.)