Amelia Kellaway is ecstatic. The thirty-something lawyer has quit her job and turned her back on the suffocating corporate world of a New York law firm to embark on a three month solo trek of the California Coastal Trail. But as Amelia sets out on her big adventure, things take a sinister turn when she's kidnapped by a stranger and taken deep into the wilderness.
A fast-paced read, this chilling novella delivers a heart-pounding conclusion that you won’t see coming.
When Amelia Kellaway, a New York lawyer, decides to throw away her successful, but extremely boring career and follow her dream, everyone thinks she's gone crazy. Amelia does not want to spend all days of the week cooped up in an office any more. She wants freedom, she wants to explore the great outdoors, camp under the stars, walk miles and fend for herself for months, away from civilisation.
But her dream is immediately cut short before her adventure has even begun. An act of kindness throws her into a terrifying nightmare that will see her fight and run for her life.
I'm not sure if this is just a coincidence or the story behind this book, but 'Left for Dead' made me think of Amelia Earhart, the famous aviator who disappeared without trace in 1937 while performing a solo flight over the Pacific Ocean. Just like the famous aviator, for everyone else, the Amelia in this story disappears from the face of the earth while on a solo expedition. But there's one difference. No one is expecting her back for months, so no one raises the alarm.
This story is very suspenseful and fast-paced and being short, I read it very quickly. It starts off with a very tense, terrifying scene and from then on, it kept me on the edge of my seat. Through her words, and vivid descriptions, the author excellently portrays the sense of loneliness, the solitude, Amelia's fear and hopelessness, the vastness and beauty of the land and the 'voice' of nature.
I admired Amelia's perseverance, her courage and her fight for survival. I'm not sure I would have lasted as long as she did in those treacherous conditions. My heart went out to her and I wished I could help her in some way. This book certainly serves as an eye-opener to those preferring to venture out on long expeditions, camp and explore the world by themselves.
Apart from one scene that I thought was a little bit over the top, I really enjoyed reading this gripping book, following Amelia through her ordeal. The ending leaves some questions unanswered. Could that be an indication of a possible sequel? We'll see!
With thanks to the author, Deborah Rogers for an ARC of this book.
Deborah Rogers is a New Zealand born writer. She spent a good proportion of her formative years in South East Asia, where her father worked for the Hong Kong government. After a rather checkered education, which included dropping out of high school at sixteen, she eventually graduated from the University of Canterbury with degrees in Sociology and Law.
Her short fiction has been published in local journals, and shortlisted for several major competitions, including the Commonwealth Writers Short Story Prize and the Katherine Mansfield Premier Award. Deborah also has a Graduate Diploma in Scriptwriting, and graduated cum laude from the Hagley Writers’ Institute.