Friends Zoe and Holli take a break from graduate studies for a joyful Las Vegas trip, but end up tragically abducted by a sadistic killer. Zoe escapes with her life, forever changed. She never sees her friend again and this villain wasn’t caught. A year later our heroine carries the burden of haunting fears on top of a heavy load of survivor guilt.
Zoe hears of a murder investigation on TV that includes shreds of information that she’s convinced match her abduction. Now she has to get police to believe that she can help them find this killer. She’s desperate to have this chance to be part of stopping him. It’s a second chance at saving someone’s life. But becoming involved in this investigation puts her life in danger again, if this killer realizes that she’s the one that got away. This book, typical for this author’s writing, pulses suspense. You’ll never know what turn this tale will take next, but you’re in for a wild ride and you’ll want to stay on for the exciting finish.
It’s said that Simon Wood concocts wild and dangerous thrillers that would have given Hitchcock nightmares. I appreciate that he creates fascinating, smart villains that get under your skin, then pits them against strong heroes for a truly exciting fight. I highly recommend this author. The broad conflicts at the heart of his books give the reader a chance to explore different perspectives on very human issues.
In this book, it’s the dynamic issue of survivor guilt. And in his book Terminated, he explores workplace violence.
Gwen is conscientiously doing a good job at work and was recently promoted. But Stephen is one of the employees in her department and he is not happy with Gwen’s work or her promotion. He decides he’s not going to complain about it, he’s going to do something about it himself. Taking what he sees as justice in his own hands, this misplaced vigilante is terrifying.
Just like Gwen, the reader doesn’t know when, where or how this self-appointed enforcer will strike next. His moves are genius in their planning and execution. If only he put all that energy and intelligence toward good, but then he thinks he is working to make things good. He’s an ominous character with chilling determination and self-assurance. He’s devious in chipping away at Gwen’s credibility with others, seeking to isolate her, increase her vulnerability and ultimately destroy her. Can she find a way to protect herself and her family? It’s a white-knuckle ending. With workplace aggression an increasing issue, this book is a thought-provoking plot to ponder.
You can learn more about this award-winning suspense and horror author — who is also a former race car driver, licensed pilot, animal rescue volunteer, endurance cyclist and occasional private investigator — through this podcast interview: Kendall & Cooper talk mysteries with Simon Wood.
— By Wendy Kendall
Wendy Kendall is a writer, project manager and volunteer at the Edmonds Library. Follow her via her blog here or on Twitter @wendywrites1.