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Devil's Lake (Bittersweet Hollow Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 290 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Portia Lamont has returned home in a frenzy of panic, relief, and fear after being kidnapped and held captive for two years. She wants nothing more than to be close to her family and try to forget what happened to her, but it becomes evident that the past isn’t going to go away. Portia is strong and capable, and I think I respected her and the author more due to the fact that despite her strength she struggles with the physiological damage that was caused by her ordeal…because that’s what real people have to go through. She isn’t a robotic, paper thing, cut out of a character. She’s a woman who has to learn to find peace within herself, to protect herself and her family, and to move forward with her life. The book is split in to four parts, each one dealing with a different portion of the story and focusing mostly on a single aspect. Through these different lenses we get to see the much needed relief of returning home to a wonderful support system, the past in which Portia must face, and the healing and closure she and her family needs after the ordeal. It was great seeing Portia and her sister reconnect after a troubled childhood and for her to find support in her old friend Boone.
The narrator, Gwendolyn Druyer, is not my favorite but she does a good job handling the emotions and getting the right tone across. I really only had issues with the amount of variation in her treatment of character voices, there were times when I got a couple of characters confused, but it didn’t really detract from the story itself.
I think that Lazar handled this story with a certain amount of grace that I appreciate. It’s so easy to lose sight of the human emotional and impact in books like this and go straight down the sensationalized thriller route. This is certainly an author I plan to check out some more in the future
The gutsy younger sister was my favorite character, and I wondered if she and I could be clones. Not only did she make me laugh in her efforts to mentally psych out her abductor, but she kept the book from a too predictable outcome.
I don't like books that wrap up neat and tidily. I want to mull the characters around in my mind, and wonder what might happen in their futures. I feel a sequel in the air. There is more to the family than Lazar lets us in on in Devil's Lake.
Portia's family and friends aren't flawless. Nor is the home to which she flees after eluding her captor free from other troubles. What they do have is open hearts and a desire to deal with Portia as the wounded woman she is, supporting her as she comes to grips with the experience she's endured. She's got guts and so do they when they discover her ordeal isn't over. Resourcefulness, too, as they team up to keep her safe.
An homage to the Ohio woman who escaped abduction after years of captivity, this story is an apt tribute. It's not a clinical case study so the recovery time frame is compressed but it captures a survivor's spirit. His message is a hopeful one: there is life after a tragedy--even a happily ever after in this case.
After disappearing for two years, Portia Lamont suddenly shows up at her parent's house half-starved and emotionally damaged, having been abducted and held against her will by a crazed man in a remote cabin.
Lazar balances the fine line between suspense and squeamishness perfectly. The reader knows that what Portia is going through during her two-year ordeal is everyone's worst nightmare, and yet, Lazar doesn't bring it to a level of voyeuristic discomfort. The middle section of the book describes her time in captivity, and even though you know that Portia escapes from her abductor (as is mentioned on the first page of the book), at every step of the way you are still rooting for her to find the way out of her hell.
But while one nightmare ends, another begins, leading Portia and the other characters to wonder how far this madman will be willing to go to reclaim Portia as his prize.
Lazar gives us characters we truly care about, including Boone, the neighbor who has secretly loved Portia for years, and Portia's sister Grace, a woman with her own issues, whose inner strength and creativity in the face of danger jump off the pages in the book's exciting climax.
I've already downloaded Devil's Creek, the second book in the series, and will be reading other books by Lazar—a new favorite author!