From Publishers Weekly
A horrifying premise catalyzes this fast-paced, suspenseful thriller: A woman wakes up in a darkened room, bound, disoriented, unable to recall the recent past. She is terrorized and abused by a strange man who taunts her with the names of other victims. But for Abbie Devereaux, a 25-year-old Londoner, the nightmare really begins after she escapes. Recovering in a local hospital, she must confront the fact that no one believes her story. Her doctors think it's all a fantasy, "a cry for help." Det. Insp. Jack Cross can't find a crime scene. And when Abbie's well enough to go home, she discovers that her life-her job designing office interiors; her boyfriend, Terry; the flat they shared-has been destroyed, but she hasn't a clue as to how or why. Has she had a breakdown? Is she still in danger from the kidnapper? The bulk of the novel is about Abbie's inventive efforts to reconstruct her life and discover what really happened to her. French (Killing Me Softly) does a good job of making this unlikely scenario believable. But the larger authorial challenge is making Abbie, an average and unambitious young woman who has clearly made some bad choices in her life, into someone resourceful enough to solve the mystery. The book is psychologically astute about terror-Abbie's panic and bewilderment throughout her ordeal are rendered with precision-but her more basic motivations don't always ring true. Still, it's a suspenseful and harrowing tale, occasionally dipping into the truly gruesome, with powerful narrative drive.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
*Starred Review* Widely divergent in terms of plot, French's previous three stand-alone thrillers--Killing Me Softly
(1999), Beneath the Skin
(2000), and The Red Room
(2001)--share a high level of suspense and three compelling heroines. Her latest, French's best work yet, adds another fascinating protagonist while managing to up the ante on suspense, generating a near-unbearable level of dramatic tension. Londoner Abbie Devereaux awakens to find herself injured, hooded, and bound, the captive of a psychotic man whom she cannot see. After a daring escape that almost kills her, she finds herself in the middle of a new nightmare: no one believes her story. Not even her friends. With no memory of the several days preceding her kidnapping, she lacks the ammunition to convince them. As Abbie goes about trying to reconstruct her lost week, she fights the panic of knowing that her unknown captor knows her. Painstakingly piecing together her life, Abbie tries desperately to figure out who kidnapped her--and why. Another brilliant effort by an author who never disappoints. Jenny McLarinCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved