Kubica’s psychological thriller centers on the abduction of a young teacher.
Mia Dennett comes from massive wealth, and that made her a juicy target. Chicago Police Detective Gabe Hoffman is assigned to lead the official search and finds himself increasingly attracted to Mia’s mother, a beautiful British woman in her early 60s. The story alternates between the past and present and is told through the voices of three of the participants: Mia’s mother, Eve; her abductor, Colin; and Gabe, the detective. Mia, who was freed after months of living in the Minnesota woods with her captor, has a type of amnesia that, her psychiatrist says, allows her to block out parts of what happened to her. Gabe is still trying to track down the truth about her captivity, while Eve is working to regain the daughter she believes is underneath Mia’s apparent apathy and confusion. Meanwhile, readers follow along with the abduction itself in Colin’s words and discover an odd but burgeoning bond developing between captor and captive in the harsh and unforgiving climate. Although Kubica has chosen to recount her tale in the present tense, which adds an odd stiffness to her otherwise very readable prose, she makes the characters engaging and moves the story along at a good clip. If the novel lacks credibility in any one area, it’s that the Chicago PD, one of the busiest law enforcement agencies in the world, would have the luxury of assigning one detective to a single case for months on end, even if the abductee was the daughter of an influential member of the judiciary.
The proliferation of older characters like Eve will be a pleasant and unexpected find for the many readers who understand that life over 55 can still be interesting.