“The little girl lay under the hay stack scarcely breathing. Sweat poured down her face and dripped into her eyes; her heart pounded through her thin chest. Tiny flecks of hay clung to her wet skin, making her itch. She squeezed her nose tightly afraid she’d sneeze. Eyes clamped shut, she lay there. Flies buzzed around her, crawling on her. She didn’t move. She didn’t know how long she’d been there in the loft. She didn’t care how long she stayed. She couldn’t move. Not yet.”
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I chose to listen to this audiobook after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.
Relentless is a good title for this book. Gina, aka Reggie Lee, was tormented by her cousin Jake when she was young. She left home at the age of 14 after he almost killed her. With help from a network of people, she changed her name and made a life for herself but she always feared that Jake would find her, even after she became a successful doctor miles away in Chicago. She had good reason to fear him because even after close to 20 years, Jake is still obsessed with her.
The characters are complex and believable. Even Jake and his crew, who are way “out there,” are believable. Jake is a serial killer focused on finding and killing Reggie Lee after she got away from him so many years ago. His friends are followers and stay with him even when they want to get away because they’re so afraid of him. It’s obvious that Nancy Alexander knows what she’s writing about by the way she portrays the characters.
Relentless is full of suspense. Gina is always on alert. I can’t imagine living in fear for so many years.
If I read this book again, I would choose to read a print copy or the e-book. There were several times that all of the girls who were raped and/or killed were listed and to listen to those lists was a bit much to sit through. They were important to the story so they had to be there, it just would have been easier if I read the lists rather than listened to them. I also had to speed the book up because the author made noises (licking her lips?) in between sentences and those noises couldn’t be heard at 1.4x speed. She did do very well at distinguishing the different voices and it was also nice having the author read the book because she knew exactly where she wanted to verbally stress certain points or occurrences.
I would definitely recommend Relentless in the print or e-book form.
About the Author
Love of the mystery/thriller genre combines with psychotherapy training and experience to produce an emotionally supercharged dramatic novel. Nancy Alexander has devoted much of her professional life to helping survivors of childhood trauma; their distress has been ingrained and works to create characters who give voice to their plight. To analyze the evil minds that prey on others and the intricacies of law enforcers who pursue them seemed a natural interlacing of professional, literary and creative interests.
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