by Tami Hoag.
Signet larger paperback, 454 pages. 2015.
“’You fucking bitch!’
He gritted the words out between his teeth and punched her full in the face, his knuckles smashing her lips against her teeth. The copper taste of blood filled her mouth and she turned her head to the side to spit it out as she tried to bring her arms up to protect her face.
He struck her again and again, swinging his fist like a hammer, banging her head off the ground, striking her left ear so hard she lost her hearing.
Her consciousness dimming, Dana went limp. He slapped her across the face with an open hand.
‘Look at me. Look at me!’ His voice was a harsh rasp.
Dana opened her eyes and saw three of him.”
After being held captive and tortured for days, Dana sees a small chance of escaping and takes it. She reaches out with a screwdriver and, with all her strength, plunges it into his temple and kills her sadistic captor. At long last she is free.
But Dana has been badly brutalized and her recovery is slow. She will never look quite the same again nor be the same girl as she had been before. She now has PTSD and remembers nothing of what happened to her or much of anything else. Her devoted mother and step-father take her home and do all they can to help her.
Before her kidnapping, her best friend had disappeared and never found. Dana’s boyfriend was Tim Carver, now a policeman in her hometown, and her best friend’s boyfriend was John, a loner whose father was a mean drunk. Trying to piece her life back together is all that occupies herself these days as she slowly improves. It’s a long, hard road back.
This fantastic story has little romance, only reference to some before she was kidnapped and a hint of some that might be in her future. I was mesmerized by this story. It’s depressing in places and touching in others. You keep changing your mind about who is the killer and why, as well as where is the body hidden? Small little things were not perfect – like the cancer stricken former policeman and whatever happens regarding him, but that’s small compared to all the amazing other parts of the story.