A golden girl snatched from an Alaska vacation battles her monstrous captor to survive.
Three years ago, geologist Greg Martin’s bride, Elese, vanished from the streets of Seward during their honeymoon. The search for her went nowhere, perhaps because Sgt. Evan Hamilton decided that her husband, who’d already been named in a criminal complaint by his first wife, had probably done away with her for the insurance he’d expeditiously taken out. Nor is Hamilton about to change his mind when fundraiser Nina Granville disappears from Fairbanks under very similar circumstances; even when Greg comes forward and offers to help, Hamilton is still suspicious. This time, though, there’s a much more concerted push to find Nina, who recently became engaged to charming, handsome, wealthy presidential hopeful Congressman Terrence Donnelly. The Donnelly family offers a substantial reward for Nina’s safe return, and Sgt. Cody Wood, the Congressman’s deputy chief of staff, beats the bushes looking for her. But all in vain; Nina’s been carried off by Elese’s kidnapper, a survivalist trapper who calls himself Baer, who carries the women he abducts off to the back of beyond and treats them as breed animals. Beaten, caged, and raped, Nina struggles to adapt to the demands of her unspeakable situation. Her determination to escape is fed by her discovery of a journal kept by Elese, “her secret sister,” and sharpened by the realization that she’s pregnant.
Russell (Political Suicide, 2003, etc.) handles Nina’s kidnapping, imprisonment, and painfully growing resolve with matter-of-fact mastery. Only the surprisingly long last movement, which slowly prepares and releases a final thunderbolt, is likely to divide readers.