Written by Taylor Adams
Published by William Morrow, January 15, 2019
My star rating – 4 stars
On her way to Utah to see her dying mother, college student Darby Thorne gets caught in a fierce blizzard in the mountains of Colorado. With the roads impassable, she’s forced to wait out the storm at a remote highway rest stop. Inside, are some vending machines, a coffee maker, and four complete strangers.
Desperate to find a signal to call home, Darby goes back out into the storm . . . and makes a horrifying discovery. In the back of the van parked next to her car, a little girl is locked in an animal crate.
Who is the child? Why has she been taken? And how can Darby save her?
There is no cell phone reception, no telephone, and no way out. One of her fellow travelers is a kidnapper. But which one?
Trapped in an increasingly dangerous situation, with a child’s life and her own on the line, Darby must find a way to break the girl out of the van and escape.
But who can she trust? Find it on Goodreads
I’m impossible to please when it comes to mysteries. I’m not a fan of detective plots, I usually don’t enjoy the characters, and I find them quite predictable. But – this book was so unique and refreshing! Ok, well, maybe refreshing is the wrong way to describe this book. It was dark, twisted, and creepy, but I was refreshed by the content and my experience while reading it!
The way the book starts off had me REALLY nervous. The whole plot is laid out by the end of the second chapter. We meet Darby as she’s on her way to see her mother. Diagnosed with cancer and about to go into surgery, this might be her last chance to smooth things over with her mother. But a whiteout snow storm makes travel impossible and she needs to take cover at a rest stop. While there, she finds herself in the company of 4 strangers. She goes into the parking lot to get a cell signal and finds a young girl held hostage in an animal crate. She quickly finds out who the van belongs to, and tries to gain attention of the other 3 strangers for help. I was so worried at this point. I though “well I already know what’s happening and who it is, so what else can happen in the next few hundred pages??” A lot – that’s what lol
Despite the slow beginning, this book was a super fast paced read. Yes, she knows who the kidnapper is. Yes, she knows that she needs to free this little girl. But there aren’t many options when you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere and not knowing who to trust. Once I got to the second part of this book I couldn’t put it down!
There isn’t a whole lot of character development. This is more focused in survival, desperation, trust, and strength (both mental and physical). Once Darby finds out who the killer is, she needs to quietly gain the attention of the others to try and figure out what to do next. There won’t be police coming any time soon, but they can’t leave the girl out there. But she quickly realizes that her situation is far more dire than she thought. There are elements of escape and desperation (which I LOVED), and there’s also gore, violence, and brutality. If you’re squeamish, this book isn’t for you! I loved how smart Darby was and how the author displayed the “fight or flight” response in traumatic situations.
If you’re looking for a fast paced mystery/thriller with some serious action and a little bit of horror and gore, this is one you need to read!
Until next time, happy reading!