The Devils' Cradle by Darcy Daniel


5 Thrilling stars*****

This story was so good! I've had this book sitting in my review pile for a while and when I finally dove in I just could not put it down! It is a long book but it didn't feel that way at all... a real page turner, very engaging, and definitely kept me on the edge of my seat.
Remember that movie "Sleeping With the Enemy" with Julia Roberts?? This had that kind of feel to it... Nina was very much the trophy wife to everyone looking in but the truth behind what was really going on was a well hidden secret. Michael, her husband, controlled every aspect of Nina's life and kept her prisoner. He was abusive, vindictive and mean. His brother Greg was even worse and he and Michael keep a tight reign on Nina. These two were easy to hate. Michaels's bad influence over her son empowered her to run and I was really rooting for Nina's freedom. I got a little teary eyed at some of Nina's first moments of freedom. Can't say what they were... it would ruin those moments for YOU!
This book does have a couple of scenes in the first part of the book that are a little explicit when she is being punished by Michael and violated by his brother Greg. Just FYI in case you are sensitive to this type of content. Once Nina escapes however, the story moves from victim to Nina's fight for her freedom and a chance to keep her son from becoming like the monsters who kept her in captivity. There is also a budding romance that develops between her and ex-police officer Case. Case has his suspicions about Greg and his possible connection to the disappearance and murder of his wife. Case is hoping Nina can help him find evidence of Greg's involvement but he gets a little more than he bargained for... especially when dealing with the little boy that has been raised to disrespect his mother.
This was the part of the book that moved me more than anything... the smack talk that came out of that kid's mouth was painful to hear as a mother. I felt Nina's pain... Michael was conditioning him to believe that his mother was useless. Escaping was the only way for Nina to hopefully gain the respect that she wants and needs from her son.
Case has his own story as well as the disappearance and murder of his wife was never resolved. It was his belief that Greg was somehow involved in her murder that led him to cross paths with Nina and step up to help her escape. I was so proud of him for his patience with Nina and being her knight in shining armor in every way she needed him to be... just brought tears to my eyes. He was a very positive influence on her son as well.
If you like a thrilling story line and don't mind a little bit of dark content... I highly recommend this book. I lOVED it... :)

Thanks so much to the author for the complimentary copy! Sorry it took so long for me to read it...  

On Australia’s island state, more than one species of Tasmanian Devil exists...

Beneath the surface of Nina Holt’s perfect marriage lurks a life of terror inflicted upon her by her politically powerful husband Michael and his brother Greg, a sadistic detective. For over a decade they have managed to keep Nina imprisoned, using her to satisfy their every whim.

Worse still, the only light in her life—her 9-year-old son, Sam—considers Michael a hero. When Sam imitates Michael’s violence by lashing out at her, Nina knows it’s time for both of them to escape before Sam truly turns into the monster Michael is grooming him to become.

After crashing her car in her haste to escape, kind motorist Case Herder offers her help. Unaware that he has his own plans for her, Nina accepts, igniting a deadly game of cat and mouse as they flee across Tasmania with Sam.

As Michael and Greg relentlessly hunt them down to Cradle Mountain, Nina finds herself with nowhere left to run. Cornered, she has no choice but to face evil head-on.(

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this review. I have to say, though I try not to, I can't help but judge a book by it's cover, and honestly the cover of this book just doesn't speak to me. But, you review makes it sound like a really good read. Considering this is published by a small press, you might be interested in adding it to the "Indie Books Read" linky at Phantom Owl Press.

    Check it out here!