What’s it about?
When Emma awakens in total darkness, she is aware of her nakedness. Injuries. A bed not her own. A blindingly bright light suddenly pierces the blackness and a disembodied male voice calls her “Venus”. Venus – the goddess of love, beauty, sex and desire. He says she is “Venus Six”. What does this predator want from her? Can she outwit the masked man who demands to be called “Master”? Or will he be looking for Venus Seven?
Detective Inspector Gravel finds himself floundering when a local nineteen-year-old university student is abducted and imprisoned by a sadistic serial killer who has already tortured and killed at least five young women.
I read the first chapter twice, such was the intensity of the scene. Emma, a nineteen year old student, was brutally taken from her bedroom and she awakens in total darkness, in a soundproofed and windowless room. The setting couldn’t be more horrifying and she feels terrified. The man who’s taken her talks to her through the speakers secured in the ceiling and she has to do what he tells her or else… Let’s just say that he knows a few torture techniques. He calls her Venus Six and she can call him Master.
While she’s missing, a body is discovered. The girl, like Emma, has a slight build and blond hair and not long after there are other bodies found in the same area. They all look alike but Emma is not among them. It’s clear it’s only a matter of time that this serial killer will want to dispose of her too by the looks of it. DI Gareth Gravel and DS Clive Rankin investigate Emma’s ‘abduction’ as it is now called, but there are not many leads as she vanished in the dead of night. The only people who might have seen something are the drug dealer living across Emma’s and the old woman living in a house in the woods near the burial site. Can they be considered as reliable witnesses however? DI Gravel and DS Rankin are running around in circles while Emma is trying to do what she must to please her captor and stay alive. I really liked Emma, such a strong character. She’s a smart and strong-willed girl and the way she reacted to her capture was admirable. There is one other character though that pops up and stands out even more than Emma in this novel.
All through the novel my lips were dry and parched. Not only the interactions between Emma and her captor were quite chilling and tense (strangely, I wouldn’t have minded a few more of these because they were cringe-worthy brilliant), but also the police’s inquiry suddenly becomes extremely gripping. I knew who the sick puppy in the novel was, it’s even revealed halfway through but the best is then yet to come and it really doesn’t spoil the fun in seeing this coming to a head.
There are quite a few surprises in the last part. That ending wow, this had my heart in a vice. Sadness and happiness seem to go hand in hand here.
If you’re in for a gripping, creepy and disturbing psychological thriller, than I can recommend this very much.
I received a free copy of this novel from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.