Baby Doll: The twisted Richard and Judy Book Club thriller Paperback – 27 February 2017
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- Paperback : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1784753467
- ISBN-13 : 978-1784753467
- Dimensions : 12.9 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
- Publisher : ARROW LTD - MASS MARKET; 1st edition (27 February 2017)
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
A SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER AND RICHARD & JUDY BOOK CLUB PICK
Read the novel that kept Tess Gerritsen transfixed and entertained until the very last page.
You’ve been hold captive in one room.
You’ve been mentally and physically abused every day since you were sixteen years old.
Then, one night, you realise your captor has left the door to your cell unlocked.
For the first time in eight years you’re free.
This is what happens next., from the publisher's description
What a compulsive read! A brilliant first novel that kept me transfixed and entertained until the very last page. -- Tess Gerritsen
an incredibly powerful debut, Sunday Mirror
Compelling psychological thriller, Daily Express
With a narrative that can only be described as 'nuclear', the story of newly freed Lily and her daughter Sky moves at breakneck speed ... It's a really good read., Stylist
If Overton’s debut is anything to go by, she’ll soon be up there with the best of them!, Peterborough Evening Telegraph
Riveting from the first line., Woman's Own
Gritty, captivating thriller., Love Reading
It's a refreshingly brisk and efficient read., Irish Independent
a gripping page-turner that will make you think about what it means to be free., Glamour South Africa
A RICHARD & JUDY BOOK CLUB PICK
Read the novel that kept Tess Gerritsen transfixed and entertained until the very last page
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Top reviews from Australia
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It was a much lighter read than I expected, which is not in itself a bad thing, but I felt that it was quite superficial and somehow skipped over the details of re-integrating back into normal life after so many years in captivity. I also found some of the storyline quite unrealistic and, even though I am happy to suspend belief for good fiction, I couldn't get away from the fact that I didn't believe the ease with which Lily seemed to just fit back in ready to go shopping after years in the dark while everyone focused on their love-lives.
So, for me, the start of the book was excellent with real pace and the end of the book definitely picked up again but the mid way seemed to lose it's purpose and read more as YA fiction than as a thriller.
Several of my friends have also read this book and absolutely loved it, so it is definitely worth making up your own mind!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for allowing me to read this in exchange for my honest review.
**ARC kindly received by Random House UK, Cornerstone Century via NetGalley for an honest review**
A very commendable start as a published author, later we found out that Hollie has experience in the field of television writing. Oops, it was too resisting not to stalk her and much to our pleasure, this was one story told in third person that we found enjoyable. By using said structure, this gave us the opportunity to delve into the protagonists’ minds and at the same time, highlighted certain details. Some we thought would be insignificant. How wrong we were. Why we’re mentioning this is because we’ve always found connecting to first persons’ points of view effortless; in this case, wrong again! The structural flow is unusual, too. There are no chapters as such. Flipping from one character to another, the narrative pace is controlled by them.
Lily has had to endure the worst possible ordeal one could ever imagine. However, the reader doesn’t actually get to see what she’d been through until she returns to civilisation. Eight years being held in captivity, tortured physically and mentally, her only wish is to resume a life of normalcy. Of course, that is easier said than done. And this folks, is the nitty-gritty of the story and how her abduction affected everyone she loved. We were made to believe that her twin, Abby, was bolder, more outspoken and opinionated than Lily, but that is far from the truth. The fact that their bond is unbreakable regardless of the how they adapt to the changes, is indisputable.
If our hearts broke for her Lily, her sister Abby made us sob. Despite there being plenty of reasons not to like her and she certainly brought out conflicting feelings in us, it wasn’t until way into the read that both of us began to understand her. She’d really had a rough time coping with Lily’s disappearance. And regardless of the what ifs which consume her, behind her façade is a very vulnerable woman. Yet what should have got better, escalated into more serious problems. There are a couple of scenes where Abby’s doings caused us to put our hands on our hands and scream at her.
Lily had suffered at the hands of a man who fooled everyone. If it weren’t for her will to protect what is hers, we have no doubt she’d never have seen the light of day. Mind you, she took the bull by the horns and her determination to overcome the past and start living in the present showed us how strong she was. Dear Lily. So kind and loving, she couldn’t put a foot wrong in our book.
The development of Rick’s character was a slight setback for us. He comes over full of himself and thinks he’s untouchable. His personality profile clashed somewhat since his traits were nothing less than that of a sociopath. Therefore, trying to comprehend why he was so obsessively in love with Lily and then went to such lengths to make her life unbearable, was difficult to fathom. We don’t want to say too much about him because we’d like you to find out for yourselves. That being said, we felt there was something missing in the story which perhaps, could have been remedied by adding a stronger physiological impact.
The secondary characters are well-thought-out. Albeit the dialogue between them a tad lacking, it does pick up after the second half of the book and this is when a good dose of angst kicks in and emotions run high. Ah yes, the title. Apt—it is. Not only does Lily have to conform to his demands by dressing in inappropriate attire, but this endearment grates on one no end. If only Lily’s lost years could have been better explored, this would have been the perfect five star thriller. Nevertheless, we read the book in one sitting and recommend one-clicking it. Bravo Ms Overton for your debut.
Even though this was fiction I still got caught up in Lilly’s life and how harrowing it was for her afterwards. Most of us like to think there is a happy ending and there is, just not the one you expect. The author was able to demonstrate how abuse changes people and trauma can fracture a family.
I found all the characters very intense and at times it seemed like they were jostling for position in the story line. This isn’t necessarily a criticism as it may be partly due to the story unfolding in a way I’m not used to. Also I started out thinking the swearing detracted from the story then decided it added ‘weight’ to the characters.
Overall I enjoyed this book, it had enough twists and turns to hold my interest and look forward seeing more from the author.
This book is recommended for fans of psychological thrillers and first timers to the genre.
A digital copy of this book was obtained from the publisher via NetGalley and this review is solely mine.
Top reviews from other countries
In a change from the norm, this novel focuses on the aftermath of such a traumatic event, the effects of Lily’s abduction and her return on herself, her child and her family.
I loved this book! The characters were all flawed and at times I struggled to like any of them but the author shows why they respond the way they do so well that I empathised fully with their conflicts.
A well written and sympathetic treatment of a very difficult subject.
Sorry, I hate to leave negative reviews, but this just didn't work for me. 2.5 stars
I had high hopes for this book and I was not disappointed. I loved every aspect. From the character development through to how the story angled itself and flowed. I particularly loved that this story had so many levels. A life left behind. A life put on hold. Chances missed and opportunities expired. Yet would Lily go back and not be kidnapped? Meaning that she would have never had her daughter Sky, who she absolutely adores. Even more so you see how vulnerable Lily is from so many years of being abused and isolated - yet she is also strong, clever and highly manipulative in her own right. As you can probable tell, I could talk forever about this book.
I really do not want to say much more. I feel that if I did i may ruin the mammoth amount of surprises and twists. Just know that if you pick this book up you will be entertained for hours.
It reminds me of Room by Emma Donoghue (mother escape abduction with child), but from multiple perspective and is more darker as you don’t see it from the child’s view.
I devoured the book. So easy to read and keep reading because it’s just so compelling. Recommend it.
I enjoyed this. It's an interesting premise and it made me feel. It touched nerves to the point where I had to put it aside in order to regain the composure to keep going. It's only fiction, I reminded myself.
The characters are amazingly well drawn. There are moments of sheer vicarious pleasure you can't help but read again. I enjoyed it.
The problem I had with the book was that, for all it was well paced, it did feel a little unpolished. There were too many times when I was mentally editing the syntax to improve a clunky sentence to make me feel entirely comfortable with reading it. There was one twist that I felt the narrative probably could have done without. You'll know the one I mean. Doesn't actually go anywhere either. The outcome probably would have been the same regardless. Bad editing, I would say.
But I enjoyed it, regardless. I'll look forward to her next outing.
I'll be looking forward to the next tale.