Top critical review
44 of 54 people found this helpful
on November 23, 2011
Hmm. Where to start. This book, though readable and in some ways enjoyable, was rife with problems. The exposition was excessive and the plausibility, scoffable. The character's thoughts, actions and choices didn't ring true. And there was way too much head-hopping--even venturing into the POV of a goat and the hero's dead wife!
**Caution, review contains some spoilers**
The action that sets the whole plot in motion, at least the heroine's assessment of it, left me shaking my head and laughing. The author dangles this in front of us repeatedly via the heroine's POV (unnecessary - I caught on when it was presented the first time), yet Brook can't seem to ad 2 + 2 and get 4. She even seems to forget about it for a while, once she's at the cabin. Tearful denial that someone she loved could do something like that, I could have bought, but not outright stupidity--musing about it and seeming not to *get* it. It made her character come across as an idiot.
The skanky girl character living with the villains was simply not believable. Some denial and ignorance would have been okay, but her inability to see what was going on in front of her face was laughable. (She observed Brook being held against her will and repeatedly gang raped, then accused her of leading the guys on and of stealing her man <rolling eyes>) And the villains' permanently disrobing Brook and brutally raping her, then taking 'care' to send her with the female to see to her bathing and toileting needs was just plain silly.
The rape scenes were excessive, too. Describing it initially was okay, but it went on too long and in more detail than was necessary. More could have been left to the reader's imagination without harming the the story at all. Sometimes letting us know what is about to happen, then cutting the scene has a greater impact.
To top that off, after flogging us with graphic details of the assaults, the author later rushes the love scenes and peppers us with so many short, purple prose encounters, that I was left wishing for less frequent couplings that were more detailed and grounded in reality.
Back to excessive exposition...
There was way too much 'telling' and not enough 'showing.' And there were other problems, too.
When asked about his past, the hero went into a pages-long flashback (or was it - I couldn't tell - Brook responds to some of the information at the end), recounting the heated argument he had with his late wife over living wills. First off, who cares. And secondly, though both sides were represented, I felt like I was being preached to--like the author was using the book to air religious and political views. The whole thing could have been trimmed to a few lines and gotten the point across as it related to the hero's emotional state and motivations.
The issue of government and technology knowing too much about us and worming its way into our lives and our freedoms was also a heavy theme, but was handled a little better.
In another excessive, ill-handled flashback, Brook has a 20-week sonongram, then loses the baby at 19 weeks. Huh?
When Brook calls her parents to tell them she's alive, they don't notify the authorities. And neither her parents nor the police notify her husband. Uh-uh. Not buyin' it. While she might have talked her parents out of it, the cops would have told the husband themselves, to see his reaction. And it doesn't end there.
The detective 'doesn't notice' Brook's shocked reaction to her husband's (false) account of their actions the day she was abducted. You've got to be kidding me. When a wife disappears, the husband is the first suspect. They would be watching that like hawks. Then, when Brook encounters (by police screw-up) one of the suspects in the hall before the line up, they go ahead with the tainted line-up anyway. C'mon. Do you really think we readers are that stupid?
**End of Spoilers**
I liked the lead characters in this book and I wanted to like the story--the plot held promise--but it kept getting worse and worse until I finished it only to see how truly bad it would get. I'm sorry, but I can't recommend this book.