“One day she stopped screaming.”
With these chilling words, the reader is plunged into the nightmare world of Jude Fontaine. For three hellish years, Jude Fontaine has been the prisoner of a sadistic captor. Filthy, starved, and beaten, she barely clings to her sense of self. Then for one moment, she has an opportunity to escape. But freedom is difficult. Her boyfriend has moved on. Her partner on the police force doesn’t think Jude is mentally fit for police duty. Just maintaining an aura of normalcy can be a challenge for Jude.
Then the body of a missing teen is found. What looks like a drowning accident is murder. Then another teen girl is found dead. Someone from Jude’s past is connected to the murders. The investigation will bring Jude face to face with old demons and challenge her sanity.
Author Anne Fraiser has created the most believable story about the mental and physical torment of a kidnap victim. Jude Fontaine is a mesmerizing heroine. Despite the physical and emotional abuse of her kidnapper, she struggles to survive. After escaping, she fights to take control of her life. But she is no victim. She is a kickass heroine. She is the best female character since The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
However, this novel is much better written than Stieg Larrson’s debut novel. As with all of Fraiser’s novels, there is amazing depth to the secondary characters. In particular, the mother of a missing teen girl resonates with humanity. The plot twists and turns. There are betrayals. In the end, I was left wanting to read more about Jude and her partner, Uriah Ashby.