It’s high summer in the Mojave Desert, and Kristine Rush and her fiancé, Daniel, are en route from Las Vegas to Lake Arrowhead, California, for the July Fourth holiday weekend. But when Daniel is abducted from a desolate rest stop, Kristine is forced to choose: return home unharmed, but never to see her fiancé again, or plunge forward into the searing desert to find him…where a killer lies in wait.
I have mixed feelings about this one. I really expected to like it more, but the second half missed the mark for me. I hate to say it was predictable, but I had an idea who the killer was, pretty early on. Maybe, I've read too many other great suspense books, or I just have a twisted mind, so it was easy for me to figure out?
Kristine and her fiancé, Daniel, are on their way to his mother’s house for a holiday weekend. Something on the desert highway makes him swerve and Kristine ends up drenched in coffee. They pull into a desolate and down-right scary sounding rest stop, so she can clean herself up. That’s where her worst nightmare takes place.
She’s attacked in the bathroom stall and knocked out. She wakes up alone, bloody and unsure what’s waiting for her outside the door. The only thing she finds is Daniel’s car and his cell phone on the seat. When his phone rings, it's a man telling her to get in the car and drive or Daniel is going to die. She’s torn about leaving him behind, but doesn’t want to do anything to jeopardize his life. It turns into a sort of scavenger hunt through the desert, that gets a little gory, but nothing extreme by any means.
“How much do you really care?”
From the first page, I was all in. The shock of the attack, so early on, grabbed my attention and promised a dark and twisted read. Which was only heightened by my own fear of rest stops. The story delivered for the first half, but after the big reveal, I found myself counting down the pages. Giving up the killer's identity so early on in the story, was a big issue for me. It made the remainder of the story drag. It was pretty obvious what was going to happen, it just took way too many pages to get there.
The killer’s motive wasn’t believable and neither was the fact that Kristine was so close to this person and never saw any signs. The whole map/scavenger hunt aspect had a lot of potential, but I struggled with how it all really fit into the killer’s need to torture Kristine. I think it was a mistake not to see that part of the plot all the way through.
*ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*