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Stockholm syndrome: the psychological tendency of a hostage to bond with his or her captor.
Beth Sutton is eighteen years old when Dominic Perdue abducts her. Held prisoner in a basement, she’s dependent upon him for food, clothes, her very existence. As the months pass, her hatred for him changes to compassion. Beth never allows herself to forget, however, that her captor has killed another woman. She has evidence to prove it, not to mention Dominic’s own admission of murder.
Then Beth escapes…
And discovers Dominic Perdue is not a man who lets go easily. Meanwhile, despite being reunited with her family, she spirals into self-destructive behaviour. Release from her prison isn’t enough, it seems. Can Beth also break free from the clutches of Stockholm syndrome?
A study of emotional dependency, The Second Captive examines how love can assume strange guises.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a psychological thriller but will also appeal to readers of contemporary fiction.
The main theme of the story is Stockholm Syndrome but there are many other psychological issues that are also examined in this book. Also discussed are dysfunctional families and sibling rivalry.
The book begins with Beth escaping (present) and then goes back to the events that lead to her captivity before returning to the present. The characters of Beth and Dominic are very realistic and Maggie makes an excellent job of building them gradually through the book and makes the reader realise the implications of events on the mind of a child. This book works particularly well because Beth doesn’t have a very good relationship with her Father and Brother which has a bearing on her captivity. The book also examines the way the dynamics of a family changes when a member is removed.
Ursula is Beth’s Mother and her character is developed around a Mother’s love for her children. As with the other characters Ursula is very realistic and acts in the way I would expect a Mother who wants to protect her child to act.
There are many twists and turns to this story and I especially like the realistic way that Maggie tells of Beth falling into a bad place after her return home. We would all like to believe that when a person is found the family lives happily ever after making up for the lost time. In the real world I think that is unlikely to happen and the fact that the story reinforces that makes it very realistic.
This is another heart rending and thought provoking book from Maggie that will have the reader turning page after page. I am looking forward to more books from this very talented author.
Thank you to Bloodhound Books who provided me with an ARC of this book.