Published November 2014
I am missing. Held captive by a blue-eyed stranger. To mark the twelve days of Christmas, he gives me a gift every day, each more horrible than the last. The twelfth day is getting closer. After that, there’ll be no more Christmas cheer for me. No mince pies, no carols. No way out …
But I have a secret. No-one has guessed it. Will you?
Thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for my review copy of this book.
This is the story of Jessica Gold. She is Christmas shopping, when she meets a gorgeous man. As you do. Jessica rashly accepts an invitation to go back to Dominic’s place. Dominic brings his own version of a twisted horror filled Christmas into Jessica’s life over the next twelve days.
The story is divided into two parts; Jessica’s ordeal at the hands of the Dominic and the aftermath. We see a rather naive phobic woman take a careless risk with her safety. Jessica comes across as being slightly unworldly and a bit daft. Her family and her boyfriend see her as an embarrassment. Dominic is cruel and manipulative filling her with stories of his terrible past and relationships. Your typical psychopath. He brings Jessica daily gifts, that are slightly bizarre and not exactly tokens of affection. Slowly it becomes obvious what Dominic is doing to Jessica and his twisted intentions. Concurrently we follow the police investigation and Kim as she investigates this rather unusual case.
The plot starts off smoothly heading in one direction and then gets a wee bit complex in part two. The unexpected twists and turns come one after another. Nothing is what it seems. I really loved the first part, with the horror of the kidnapping and the strong lead characters. That second part was clever and complicated. I found Kim’s family dramas completely unnecessary and more 1984 than 2014.
This is one twisted psychological Christmas read.