The one that got away - by Simon Wood
Posted on December 14th, 2015
This exciting thriller introduces our hero and protagonist, Zöe, in her weakest and most vulnerable point. The book starts when she finds herself naked in a shack tied to the floor. All she remembers was coming back on a car trip with a friend of hers, Holli, from Las Vegas and then darkness. She can hear Holli screaming and crying in another shack not too far. Fear pushes her to get free. Out of her shack, she finds the one her friend is in. Also naked but hanging by her tied hands sobbing and begging for mercy as she gets wipped. Zöe wants to free Holli but she can't see their captor. When she does, she notices he's much taller and stronger than her. She's also drugged and feels powerless. That's when Holli sees her and screams begging for her help but Zöe runs for her life and disappears in a car.
The first chapter sets the tone for this exciting thriller that follows Zöe a little bit a year after her escape and Holli's most likely death. Zöe is going to therapy, she's quit her PhD program, gotten a security guard job in one of the most dangerous regions of the San Francisco bay area and isolated herself from friends and family. Recovering hasn't been easy on her. She blames herself for Holli's fate, for being weak. The police never found the place she was abducted to and some officers don't really believe her story at all. There has been no sign of the abductor or his M.O. since her escape.
The following 30 chapters take us to follow Zöe when another woman is found naked and hanging in a pier in San Francisco where Zöe now lives. She is sure her abductor is back and she wants to make sure he's caught however possible. With fast paced exciting chapters, Simon Wood takes us through the many struggles that such a traumatic experience can generate along with a disturbed mind who feels the need to punish those who do not behave as they should.
With a very strong female character and great pokes at our society's behavior towards those who are suffering from complicated mental conditions (be them temporary or longer term), this thriller goes by really fast. I recommend it as a great passtime that keeps you on the edge and brings you to a tense but somewhat predictable end (without taking away any of the value of the journey).