You've been held captive in one room, mentally and physically abused every day, since you were sixteen years old.
Then, one night, you realize your captor has left the door to your cell unlocked.
For the first time in eight years, you're free.
This is about what happens next ...
Lily knows that she must bring the man who nearly ruined her life - her good-looking high-school teacher - to justice. But she never imagined that reconnecting with her family would be just as difficult. Reclaiming her relationship with her twin sister, her mother, and her high school sweetheart who is in love with her sister may be Lily's greatest challenge. After all they've been through, can Lily and her family find their way back after this life-altering trauma?
Reading this book's compelling blurb I couldn't wait to finish my current book and start it off immediately. Lily Riser had been abducted when she was sixteen years old and locked in a basement for eight whole years. During that time she was brutally beaten, tortured and raped by her abductor. Down in that basement she has also given birth to her daughter Sky.
This book starts off with a very tense scene. Lily finds her prison's door unlocked and she and Sky escape into the night. I found myself holding my breath as I thought that this was some sick joke and that at some point her captor would pounce on her from behind some tree.
"You've made a big mistake Baby Doll."
From the beginning we know who the abductor is, so this book is not about finding out who has done it. The story is about what happens when Lily returns home. It concentrates on how Lily's terrible trauma has reshaped not only her, but also her family members.
Lily's family never moved on or gotten over her loss. They never knew what happened to her. Over the years they all hoped that she's alive somewhere but at the same time they knew this to be just a dream. Now all of a sudden she's back and everyone's life is shaken up once again, everyone has to readjust to Lily's return and its consequences, namely the media frenzy. Lily has to come to terms with what happened while she was away - many things have changed and she has to pick up with times somehow.
Lily is determined to bring her captor to justice. But this man (apart from her daughter) was the only person she's 'lived' with and seen all these years. Will she ever be truly freed from him and his mind games? Will she ever be capable of getting rid of the mental torture, the brain washing she has been subjected to and move on? And what about Sky? Having lived all her life in an underground basement, how will the little girl adjust to her new surroundings?
"...I was all his. A girl who would never say no. I was the girl who obeyed his every request."
The author's writing is excellent and she knows how to put her reader on edge with her descriptions. Chapters are written from the perspective of different characters. The beginning of this book is fast-paced and very suspenseful and I rushed through it to learn what happens next. My heart went out to Lily especially when I read a list of the injuries she has sustained at the hand of the beast who abducted her and so I couldn't do anything but hate this sick monster with all my might. I liked the strong way the author portrays the psychological bonding between Lily and her twin sister Abby and between Lily and her captor.
However I have to say that the more I progressed in the book, the more I felt the story's pace slowing down and the tension slipping away. Apart from Eve's love life, Abby's problems and Lily's change in clothes and hairstyle, I wished there was more tension, more action, more trauma, more twists and turns.
Having said that, on the whole I enjoyed reading this book and I think it is a superb debut thriller.
With thanks to Random House UK, Cornerstone for approving my request to read and review this book through Netgalley.
Debut author Hollie Overton is a television writer who has written for ABC Family, CBS and Lifetime.
Overton's father was a member of Austin, Texas notorious Overton gang, and spent several years in prison for manslaughter.
Raised by her single mother, Hollie an identical twin herself, draws on her unique childhood experiences to lend realism and compassion to her depictions of violence and complicated family dynamics.