This was another book I listened to as an audiobook and I have to give props to the narrator. She was so emotional and read with such a passionate voice that I could not help but be drawn in to the story even more than if I had read it. The premise for this story was excellent. Successful realtor is abducted, held prisoner in an isolated cabin by a madman, raped and beaten. There is such a huge overwhelming sense of helplessness in Annie’s story and (I don’t want to sound sick) but I loved it. Chevy Stevens is an amazing writer. I started by reading her latest, Those Girls, and someone suggested I read all of her books. So here I am starting at the beginning and I am so glad I did. I thought, at first, that I would be distracted from the story by having Annie narrate the story of her abduction to her shrink. I thought that it would be like spoiling something for the reader. Obviously she doesn’t die if she’s telling her shrink about it. But adding that second dimension to the story was a brilliant move. It allowed the reader to really delve into the mind of a victim. I watch Law and Order SVU all the time, it’s my favorite show, but there you only see the investigation. The girl has already been raped or the cops are working over a dead body. But Chevy Stevens brought us into the minds of the victim herself in her most raw and exposed moments and it was captivating and extremely emotional.
SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!! I must say that this book also held, for me at least, the mother of all stupid decisions made by a fictional character. Sleeping with the detective on your rape case???? Really???!?!? Ok, I’m done being childish about the situation but that was seriously one stupid move. I guess it was Annie’s way of moving on, and in a way I’m happy it was with Gary and not someone who had no idea what she was going through or what her mental state was like. I know he wasn’t taking advantage of her, but I still felt it was idiotic on her part and insensitive on his. I also must admit that I guiltily guessed that Christina and Luke had something to do with Annie’s disappearance, but was in a twisted, weird way glad that I was wrong and that it was her own mother. From very early on in this story I hated Annie’s mother. I knew she was self-righteous and conceited from the first time I met her and found myself yelling at the audio in my car, “Just cut her out! Your mother is awful, just cut her out of your life! You deserve so much better than that!” It made it more tragic and harder for her to deal with of course, but something had to shake Annie, to get her to realize how terrible her mother was. There is an unbelievable sense of shame and guilt that victims heap upon themselves, and this book did a great job of unfolding that. From an outsiders perspective it can be kind of frustrating. I kept thinking, “He raped you, and beat you, and got you pregnant, then inadvertently killed your baby! Why are you blaming yourself???” But I can’t imagine being in Annie’s shoes. The doubts and the questions, “What could I have done differently? Could I have fought harder? Could I have tried to escape?”
Overall, this book was an epic, gripping, and suspenseful thrill ride and I cannot wait to dive into the next Chevy Stevens book.