The next two books I will be reviewing are outside my normal genre: one a YA book, but first of all one of the most gripping psychological thrillers I’ve ever read.
Few books start with the dramatic intensity of ‘Baby Doll’. No gentle meandering scene-setting, no light character introduction. It all starts with a bolt on a door. A bolt that has not been shut.
As Lily gradually becomes aware of this lapse, she can finally hope for freedom. A chance to escape the room where she has been held hostage since she was sixteen. Eight long years of mental and physical abuse. One person, Lily, was captured, held. Two people escape. Lily and her five-year-old daughter, Sky. Sky who is about to encounter the outside world for the first time. Sky who is about the meet her relatives for the first time ever.
Once free, every new day brings fresh traumas to Lily and her family as they desperately seek to reconnect following the horrific years of heart-ache. As the man who abducted her, an ‘upstanding member of the community’, is brought to justice, Lily discovers the destruction wrought on her closest family after she went missing. Her twin sister, Abby, has changed beyond recognition and is now pregnant and in a relationship with Lily’s childhood boyfriend. Lily’s mother too sought relief outside the norm of the family.
Whilst relentlessly moving forward, the novel seamlessly weaves in much of the back story. It builds to a crescendo of shocking revelations until the brilliant, in the end the only possible, finale.
This book is compelling; a definite page-turner and one I read in two days. Lily and her family became etched in my heart – I just had to know what happened next. Could the family survive? Could they re-unite? Would they ever find love and peace again?
‘Baby Doll’ is an excellent taut thriller that raises many important issues. Although I felt at first that it was driven by the plot I quickly changed my mind as I warmed to the characters (or in the case of the abductor, detested).
One major stumbling block for me was the poor edit of this Netgalley edition of the book. The first two words were joined together, then throughout the book there followed extra lines mid sentence, extra spaces before commas…I am sure Random House, its team and the author will correct these issues before publication but it was a distraction for me – luckily the book was so compelling!
I could say a lot more about ‘Baby Doll’ but I’m worried about spoiling the novel for you. I hope you get a chance to read this yourself. As you might have guessed I highly recommend this book.
I received this ACR from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a honest and impartial review.
Publisher: Random House UK
Group Release Date: 30th June 2016
Price: £ 12.99 (Hardback – Amazon)
£ 7.99 (Kindle – Amazon)
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
A quick aside.
Have you ever wondered about the name Netgalley?
I thought at first it was meant to be a play on word of ‘gallery’. Reading through a book the other day I think I’ve finally found the reason behind the name.
Net – obviously the internet.
Galley – this was originally the flat metal tray with three raised edges which used to hold the metal type. The galley proofs were proofs taken on a long slip of paper from the type while it was still in the galley, though the term is now used for any proofs not yet divided into pages. (source: The Cambridge Handbook. Copy-editing by Judith Butcher)