A young woman who escapes a life of ghastly abuse finds herself once again held captive, facing a 24-hour deadline to rejoin her victimizer or be killed.
The novel’s chapters count down from Hour 24. The narrator, known as Angel, is bound up on the concrete floor of a warehouse far from any chance of rescue. Her captor, who has controlled her since age 7, is a monstrous man whom she hates “so much I never gave him a name.” Names are arbitrary in this world. Her captor is only “the man,” who purchased her from the home of her crack-addicted mother where she was kept in a closet. Imprisoned in a basement room for the next eight years, she had human contact with a series of minders, including Night Man, Day Man, and Cleaning Lady. Only the evil man’s son is given a name, albeit an invented one. He is called Isaac and becomes her savior and love. Although never detailed explicitly, the unnamed man is apparently a procurer in Nevada with a stable of prostitutes and extensive connections to organized crime, government officials, and law enforcement. The presumption is that he is all-powerful so there is no escaping his reach. He is grooming Angel, among other girls, to be a prostitute, enslaved permanently to his business. She is ultimately freed through a Byzantine escape plot but that state is short-lived. Beckort (Kingston’s Promise, 2014, etc.) has effectively built up the tension of Angel’s final ordeal through the chapters’ countdown. But the book’s content is primarily a repetition of horrors—countless rapes, assaults, humiliations, and beatings. Almost every character is unrelentingly grotesque and seems beyond redemption. The sinister man hisses, “Every part of you is so sweet, and you taste the best after you’ve been beaten.” Another, called Goon 2, says to Angel: “It’s going to be a lot of fun killing you.” Little more is learned in this tale of torture.
A litany of lurid and repulsive events involving a female prisoner.