Eighteen year old Beth Sutton is thrilled when she meets a slightly older (very handsome) man named Dominic who seems to take an interest in her. Things are home are tense, and her father is putting a lot of pressure on her to decide what to do after she graduates.
What starts off as a seemingly normal relationship quickly turns sinister when Dominic invites Beth to his house for a fancy home-cooked meal, but instead traps her in his basement and tells her she’ll never escape.
What Dominic is looking for is a companion. If Beth follows his rules, she’ll gain privileges until she realizes that she needs him. When Beth is completely reliant on him, Dominic will make her love him. Relying on Stockholm Syndrome to gain Beth’s compliance and trust, Dominic has no plans of ever letting Beth go…not even when she escapes.
Stockholm Syndrome is defined as “the psychological tendency of a hostage to bond with, identify with, or sympathize with his or her captor” and is a real condition that plagues many people who have been abducted or were in an abusive relationship. I’ve never read a thriller with this premise before, so I was immediately intrigued before even beginning the book.
Beth is like many 18 year olds – she’s naive and seeking independence, and she doesn’t worry about the potential peril she could be putting herself in by lying to her parents about her relationship and where she’ll be going until it’s too late. After her abduction, Beth tries everything to escape, with no luck. She’s physically and emotionally abused by Dominic, and she’s almost to her breaking point. Two years after being locked in the basement, she manages to escape (all of this is on the book blurb, so they aren’t spoilers!) but she struggles to regain her normal life. Not wanting to betray Dominic, she doesn’t want to go to the police, but she also doesn’t want him to attempt to kidnap her again.
The book is essentially told in two parts, and is told in a few different POVs. In the first half of the book, we see Beth’s point of view before and during her abduction, with some chapters being told through Dominic’s point of view. In the second half, we jump to the present time, where Beth has managed to escape, and we then see her mother’s POV in addition to her own. What unfolds is a chilling story of a young woman trying to come to terms with what happened to her and find herself again.
Make no mistake, this is definitely a thriller, and one you wont want to miss if you can handle the dark subject matter! If you’ve been in a situation that caused Stockholm Syndrome for you, this may be too much to handle, but I trust you’ll know best if that’s the case!
All in all, I loved this book. It was wonderfully written, and I could tell the author did her homework on the intricacies of Stockholm Syndrome, and it really worked for me. There were definitely times that I wanted to shake Beth, but I feel like many of her reactions were realistic for someone suffering the way she was. I also loved Beth’s mom, and was so happy to see that we got to read part of the book from her point of view. She was such a strong character, who never gave up on her daughter, and I loved that. I did see the twist at the end coming, but I love how everything was resolved and tied up. All in all, I definitely recommend this one!
A huge thank you to Bloodhound Books and Maggie James for a copy of the book. It was my pleasure to provide an honest review! Be sure to check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour – you can see who’s up next in the image below!