Note: I received a free NetGalley copy of "Black Rose" by Kris Thompson in exchange for an honest review. And this review will get slightly spoilery.
I chose "Black Rose" to read especially for the
Halloween season because it was creepy and horrifying. Not in an
unbelievable "oh my gosh, vampires" kind of way but in a "this is
something that could really happen. I mean look at the guy who kept the
women hidden in Cleveland for years."
So if you aren't familiar
with the Cleveland, Ohio man who abducted several women and stored them
in a house for years this book definitely parallels that story. (Women
held captive, raped with at least one pregnancy). Only in "Black Rose"
Lillian, aka Lee, aka Lilly knows that the abductions are happening, she
just doesn't think it could happen to her. And then it does.
soon finds herself chained up in an underground room with nothing but a
mattress and a bucket for human waste. Only she's not alone. The other
missing girls are in rooms all around her and they share their stories.
They were kidnapped months before and have faced various forms of
torture including physical beatings, being lit by fire, and rapes.
The story flashes back and forth between Lee's perspective and that of
her boyfriend Richard who is close to Lee's friends and family. He
refuses to give up on his girlfriend until the end.
wise I both liked and did not like this. Of course it was kind of
graphic (no overly gratuitous rape or torture scenes but descriptive
enough to make me a little squeamish). And there were parts that I felt
didn't make sense. As another reviewer mentioned, one of the first
scenes where the captured girls talk they end up talking about sex even
though they are being repeatedly raped. I'm not so sure that's
believable but then again I have never been in, and hopefully never will
be, in that kind of situation. So who knows.
I did like that the
story went farther than I thought it would. I thought the book would
end with the girls escaping. But instead it carried on through the
escape, the hospital stays of the survivors, and the trial and verdict
for the captor.
But even though I read it quickly, mostly
because it was an easy read (not content wise but style wise) and
because it was suspenseful enough that I wanted to know "what happens
next" I wouldn't say I loved the book. Sure that might have something to
do with the whole distastefulness of the situation but it was also
because the characters didn't really come alive for me. Sure I rooted
for Lee but I would have rooted for anyone in her position.
So this is not on my top rated shelf. It just felt like so much more
could have happened and that it could have been written better but it
didn't and it wasn't.
And I'm going to complain about something else...something very spoilery. So here goes...
you are abducted and raped and tortured and you knock your captor out
(especially if you can't save all your fellow captive girls) why
wouldn't you make absolute certain that the guy was dead?