Jules Belleno is a reclusive young widow who communicates with the world through her blog, primarily crafting book reviews. Occasionally, she walks to a grocery store. On one of these excursions, she disappears, kidnapped by her favorite author, Patrick Reagan. Apparently, Patrick hasn’t been pleased with recent reviews of his books.
Police Officer Chris Downey was the best friend of Jules husband, a fellow officer murdered in the line of duty. Chris’s efforts to help Jules are rebuffed as she draws deeper into her shell.
Egged on by Jules’ alcoholic father, Chris begins searching for her after her disappearance. Slowly, he uncovers clues she may have been taken and by equally reclusive author, Patrick Reagan.
During Chris’ investigation, he uncovers information that there is corruption in his department. Corruption that may have directly contributed to the death of Jules’ husband.
While Chris continues his search, putting his own career at risk to save the wife of his best friend, Jules is also on a journey and what she discovers about her abductor will change everything she believed about her husband’s death, her life, and her faith.
This is one of the most exciting, keep-turning-pages books I’ve read in a long time. Rene Gutteridge has written a mystery thriller that sucks you in on page one and doesn’t let you go until the last sentence.
Ms. Gutteridge does an awesome job of making Patrick Reagan just nice enough for the Stockholm Syndrome to be believable yet creepy enough that we never quite trust him. As the story unfolds, we do develop empathy for him and what drove him to such drastic action.
Beneath Jules Belleno’s vulnerability is a strength of character I don’t think she knew she had. It is revealed as she battles with her abductor psychologically and emotionally. She grows throughout the story, overcoming the demons that have tormented her since her husband’s death.
By the end of the story, all the clues the author has so cleverly planted come together in a very satisfactory ending, including final twists that are surprising but believable in the context of the story.
A definite 5 star read.