The Second Captive by Maggie James
Beth Sutton is eighteen years old when she is abducted. Held prisoner in a basement, she’s dependent on her captor for food, clothes and her very existence. As the months pass, her hatred towards her imprisoner changes to compassion.
But Beth cannot forget that her abductor is also a killer. And she has evidence to prove it…
Then Beth escapes.
Can Beth escape from the prison that she has found herself in?
And is there a relationship between love and fear?
“Class is in session and Dominic’s my teacher, the lesson being the value of freedom. Not something I’ll ever take for granted again. I’m a different person now; stronger, more confident, determined to savor everything good this world can offer. As each day passes, I’m reassembling the soul I surrendered to Dominic Perdue. The real Beth Sutton is emerging, a butterfly crawling from the chrysalis of the basement.” This book was an insanely intense ride. Immediately our headstrong teenage protagonist Beth Sutton, is seduced and ultimately imprisoned by Dominic. He holds her in his basement for two solid years. She is dependent on him for everything… food, shelter, water, bedding, the toilet. She is stripped of anything that makes her an individual and is remade in to the girl he grooms her to be. This was a hard read and I often found myself asking what would I do in this situation? The answer is simple. You do whatever it takes to survive, as Beth does. Maggie James expertly weaves a tale that is frighteningly plausible as well as realistic. The story is told from alternating viewpoints of Dominic (Beth's captor) and Beth the captive. I love getting in to the head of the bad guy and James did an excellent job of making him complex. Dominic grew up with a horrific, abusive childhood and his reality and sense of justice are extremely skewed. As the months pass, Beth begins to develop feelings for Dominic (a real phenomenon known as Stockholm Syndrome) despite her hatred and revulsion for the things he does to her. A chance opportunity for escape presents itself two years in to her captivity and Beth seizes it and runs.
Beth manages to make it home and though she is flooded with relief to be back with her family, new problems arise as she attempts to settle back in to her old life. Beth has been brainwashed to be completely controlled and she soon finds herself making TERRIBLE choices and spiraling out of control much to her parents dismay. She does not reveal the truth about her whereabouts or what happened to her while she was gone because she is so conflicted over her feelings for Dominic. Enter Beth’s mother, Ursula. I absolutely loved her character and strongly identified with her in that we share the same primal instinct of there being nothing that you would not do to save your child. The entire time that Beth has been missing, Ursula has searched for her, making public pleas through the local police department and never giving up on the idea that her daughter was out there alive somewhere. I was completely riveted and could not turn the pages fast enough once Ursula slowly began to put the pieces of the puzzle together as to what really happened to Beth and started to develop her own plan of action. The Second Captive is a taut, frightening, psychological thriller that will grab you tight from the first page and stay with you long after you have finished the book. Many thanks to Bloodhound Books and Sarah Hardy for allowing me the privilege of being a part of this blog tour. 4 fantastic stars.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Maggie James is a British author who lives in Bristol. She writes psychological suspense novels.
Before turning her hand to writing, Maggie worked mainly as an accountant, with a diversion into practising as a nutritional therapist. Diet and health remain high on her list of interests, along with travel. Accountancy does not, but then it never did. The urge to pack a bag and go off travelling is always lurking in the background! When not writing, going to the gym, practicing yoga or travelling, Maggie can be found seeking new four-legged friends to pet; animals are a lifelong love!
Please be sure and check out the other stops and see what fellow reviewers are saying about The Second Captive.