I think this book might just make a bit of a buzz. It is extraordinary in a sense that the pace is comfortable and it works, despite the upsetting scenario and the end is just, well I let’s say I wasn’t expecting it at all.
The chapters go from past to present, before and after the event and told by multiple characters. This gives the story an almost Dolby surround effect in literary visuals.
The reader wanders through the chapters from the mother to the victim, from the police and then to the perpetrator. Images, events, emotions and realizations
It sucks you in, grinds you slowly through the emotional cogs and spits you out quite unsettled at the very end.
It will be excruciatingly hard not to let any spoilers creep in and yet I do like to get down to the nitty-gritty when thinking back on a read, but other readers deserve to experience that specific element of surprise Kubica has incorporated into the story. It is the equivalent to being smacked over the head with a cricket bat, after riding a roller coaster.
Is the bad guy a good guy? The lines often become blurred in kidnapping cases, and victims held for a long period of time can suffer from Stockholm Syndrome. They can become attached to their only lifeline in a way that is incomprehensible to outsiders.
One of the other key points in the book is the opinions of the parents, the mother’s instinct about her child and the father’s indifference towards her. Is it indifference or just a recognition and acknowledgement of character, based on past events? Are all her mistakes bound to be set in stone and determine how he perceives his daughter?
A bad penny with a penchant for bad decisions and destined to disappoint? Perhaps that is why one parent doesn’t seem to care as much as they should, whilst the other wilts away with worry. Does her father think her past is indicative of her true nature? How very sad to be judged on the difficult teenage years with no possibility of redemption.
The author takes her time drawing a complex relationship between the victim and the kidnapper, at the same time the reader gets a close uncomfortable look behind the doors of her family life.
This was an invigorating read and one I highly recommend.
I received a copy of this book courtesy of Harlequin UK & MIRA UK.