This is one of those thrillers you pick up and swallow as fast as possible. No mushiness, no sentimentality, no illogical romance scenes in the midst of abusive horrors of bad relationships. Clear, intelligent, intense writing!
You can smell the fear, the reek of disgusting evil and hear the pace of a scared, but determined heart of a young woman fighting for her life. Action is swift, intelligent and clear, the villains are obsessed, driven and relentless, and the heroine has learned the hard way not to give in to weakness. Courage comes out in its true form when it matters most – cliffhanger life-threatening moments.
The author’s style only begins to excel in the battle of wits between the abusive drug-addict ex-boyfriend Tyler and the matured, accomplished, self-reliant Amy. The real intensity and thrill grow rapidly as you rush through the story. I enjoyed routing for Amy, thrilled at every single idea she had for escape, and hoped with her. Ben, on the other hand, is not your common, garden-variety tall, dark and handsome guy. He tells it like it is, with total respect for Amy’s struggle, all protective but never dominating. I must say I have kind of a book crush on Ben, although (spoiler alert) Amy definitely deserves a man like that. One of my favourite thriller couples!
Another special quality of this book is that characters are depicted through actions, not descriptions, which is not only rare, but really difficult to achieve, and for Ulla Hakanson it seems to come naturally. The storyline has an excellent pace and the plot is well-rounded. My favourite action scene is the safe house struggle – started breathing heavily just reading it, as if I were in it myself! The court scenes are really engaging, and after all the action which took place up until then, the author manages to keep the suspense and keeps you rooting for Amy and Ben with righteousness and outrage at the bad guys. The side characters are written really well, and just as everything else with this book, they grow on you fast.
A definite page-turner with a sense of justice gratified! Still, can’t help but wonder what is in store for Amy and Ben in the next book;)? My wishful thinking for a sequel? Author, do keep writing – you’ve got a great set of characters here!