"Four years after Tom and Abby's 12-year-old daughter vanishes, she is found alive but strangely calm. When the teen refuses to testify against the man connected to her disappearance, Tom decides to investigate the traumatizing case on his own. Nothing can prepare him for what he is about to discover..."
Fave reviews for this book and I found it empty. The parents of Caitlin (the girl who disappeared) seemed two robots following a script. I never felt their conversation as... real.
The book started so good and intriguing, but then Caitlin appears and everything goes to shit. I understand that so mention Stockholm Syndrome, but not wanting to see or be with your parents at all? Why? Her parents were good so this Caitlin dislike of her parents came out of the blue.
I understand why Tom was obsessed with wanting to know what happened to Caitlin. I don't think he wanted to know the specifics (how she was reaped and the sorts) but mostly why she wanted to go back to her abductor. I think that is what he was really trying to figure out but it came out wrong.
I feel that the author should've done more research on this phenomenon because after Caitlin came back, the narrative was poorly developed.
All I got is that Caitlin didn't want to be with her parents anymore because she was made to believe that they didn't want her anymore. But, isn't that what they always tell abducted girls? "your parents don't want you; they stopped looking for you." It just felt empty that Caitlin came to that position without knowing what she went through.
Was she really raped, was she tutored, starved, and so on? How did she come to fall in love with her captor? Did he play brilliant yet sadistic mind tricks on her? I don't know.
The end was very absurd. Tom faced Caitlin captor twice, and not once he felt like killing him. Actually, Tom had no reaction at all. He went over to talk about his daughter. Really? Pretty inane.
Some counselor/psychologist was thrown in the story to fill the requirement that the victim needs counseling, but nothing came out if it. It was just to fill some pages.
The brother of Caitlin's father may or may not have been involved in Caitlin's disappearance. Ha, never fully explored but left in there hanging.
Tom also had some internal conflicts. Apparently, he was abused by his step father as a child (abused as in beatings). Okay, the author chose to make this book about two things instead of one: Tom and Caitlin. I think that was a bad choice because I couldn't really care for Tom's childhood; in fact, I skipped that garbage.
All in all, this was a very unsatisfying book where nothing was explained and even less was accomplished.