What’s it about?
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?
What an amazing read, waw! The story had me pulled in right from the start, hook, line and sinker. There’s no denying this is a very original story, the plotline well thought through and with excellent execution. The story is divided into two parts and there’s an important twist in the second part of the story that is VERY VERY mind-blowing.
Jessica Gold is doing her Christmas shopping and while she’s having a coffee in a little café she meets a guy who chats her up. She’s taken in with his appearance and agrees to come with him to his apartment for another drink. Only, once there she is kept prisoner in his flat over the twelve days of Christmas. She’s given a delicately wrapped gift that reveals a little more of his past every passing day. It seems awful things have happened to people in his past and his current wife is gone too. She realizes that the last gift will probably answer her question what happened to his missing wife Natalie and it just might be the same fate she’s facing. In the mean time she’s getting weaker with every passing day, her hair falls out and she has a nasty rash spreading all over her body.
Alternating with her ordeal is the accord of policewoman Kim and her partner Martin who investigate her disappearance. Martin doesn’t play a big role in the whole affair but Kim is the Liaison Officer and has contact with her parents, her brothers and her boyfriend Travis. Something about the whole affair makes her assume there are secrets being kept and there is more than meets the eye. We also follow her every day struggle with the dilemma given to her by her husband to choose between family or career. He wants her to give up her job because she’s never really there but she loves her work, she doesn’t mind the long hours, even though they take a toll on her family life. Personally, I hoped she would go for her convictions and her career. It’s not as if it came falling out of the sky, she did the training, she got the job so they both knew how it would work, and besides, he has normal hours so how hard can it be to be supportive for your partner. If it were the other way around, there wouldn’t be a problem probably. I like that Ms. Cohen doesn’t shy away from a topic like this that must really play in this kind of profession.
Anyway, after spinning your head with revelations of hidden motifs lying at the base of what happened and an intricately weaved plot, the ending was certainly fulfilling. I was impressed with this story on itself, how it was written, and how it comes together so nicely in the end. Nice job, Ms. Cohen. Few books have been able to surprise me as much as this one. A highly recommended read !