While this may not have been my favorite B.A. Paris novel to date—her debut was astounding!—The Prisoner delivers all that readers have come to expect from this bestselling suspense author, and I quickly became intrigued with the narrative. Throughout the story, there is a niggling sense that something is off, not quite right, adding to the tension in a way that reminds me of the static preceding a lightning strike. It’s subtle, but suddenly it gives way and chaos ensues. As with her other novels, The Prisoner is primarily psychological suspense, which I find more frightening than outright horror. Beware of making presumptions and of taking things at face value, because circumstances cast doubt on what is really happening. When done well, the twists and revelations can turn the narrative on its head, and Paris has made this her trademark.
Comprised of two segments, The Prisoner is both literal and a metaphor, representing the main character’s status in more ways than one. Kidnapped and held in an empty, windowless, pitch-black room, Amelie Lamont goes from fears surrounding her new husband to wondering where she is and why, and what is really happening. Narrated in the first-person by Amelie, readers assume her limited point of view while being drawn alongside her into the situation. The Prisoner evokes such a keen sense of claustrophobia, and Paris writes with a cinematic style that makes it easy for readers to put themselves into Amelie’s position. Some chapters during the first section of the book take place during the past and offer vignettes into Amelie’s life prior to the kidnapping and how they shaped her into the independent woman she became. As with the story itself, each layer reveals another aspect and another surprise. Paris does with The Prisoner what she does with her other novels, taking a seemingly common trope and turning it on its head with a domino effect of twists that always go further than expected. Talk about being held captive!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥