Grumble, grumble, this book was frustrating. All I can say is that reading this, at times, was a chore
. For that reason, my rating can't be high.
For a kidnap story, this book lacked suspense and I never felt truly frightened for or empathised with Claire (except perhaps for the ending and by then it was too late). Claire was so blasé about her situation, giving more thought to how she would spend her days and what clothes she would wear, that I never found myself worrying for her safety as I should have. Anthony was a cardboard cut-out character, a one-dimensional villain. I never fell for his softer side and none of his actions surprised or impressed me. I could see through his act, why couldn't Claire? In contrast, I fell for Caleb's seduction in CitD and SitD. He seduced Olivia, and therefore he seduced me, through Olivia. I was much more captivated by their story as my heart was torn between love and hate. My feelings for Anthony were only ever hate, and I grew bored of hating him and waiting for Claire to wake up to herself.
There were many examples of Claire's inconceivable actions and reactions - like not trying to escape and falling for Anthony's BS seduction. Claire mentioned a few times that being left alone, in her room, was more frightening for her than being left with Anthony, her abuser. That didn’t make sense to me, ever. It made me feel even more alienated from Claire and her stupidity. Yes I said it, Claire was stupid. I have no other explanation for her reactions, her thoughts and her decisions in this book. Even knowing what I know now, her initial reactions to her predicament do not add up. I understand that this was a take on Stockholm Syndrome, but I didn’t buy it. If anything it glosses over and trivialises a probably very complex and serious disorder. The SS component should have been introduced later in the story and it would have been more feasible.
The book needs editing as it is needlessly long. There are no details of any of the abuse scenes, very rare snippets of (interesting) dialogue between the characters BUT pages of descriptions of shopping trips and walks in the woods. The ending certainly leaves you wanting more but the trial you go through to finish the story is unforgivable. I may read the next book for one reason and one reason only: Claire's revenge.
I am still really intrigued by the kidnap/captive genre in general and will read other books but wouldn’t recommend this as a stand out in the category.