Returning to her Vermont home town after ten years away is not something Jess Taylor wants to do. She's built a successful career in Hollywood as a stuntwoman, formed a great friendship with a colleague which might develop into something more, and put aside the decade-old memories of her kidnapping and assault. Mostly.
But her mother has broken her hip, and Jess had three weeks between jobs, so what else can she do? She's no longer a victim, and memories can't hurt her again. What Jess didn't foresee was the presence of her former boyfriend Derek Daley - the one who was kidnapped with her, the one who was forced to witness her nightmare, the one who helped her escape.
Derek returned to Vermont after retiring, injured, from the Navy. Now a successful writer, he spends much of his spare time searching for evidence, any evidence, to locate the kidnapper he believes is still out there, and still attacking young women. As much as he longs to see Jess again, he fears for her safety. But she has grown stronger in the past decade, and can look after herself. Is there still room in Jess's life for Derek?
Although the underlying story of kidnapping, assault, and a possible serial killer is somewhat disturbing, this book does not dwell on the original event, and it is not described in detail (something I prefer to avoid in books I read for entertainment ). Rather, it focuses on one woman's determination not to let something which was done to her, something which was not her fault, define her for the rest of her life. In a society which happily blames victims, I think that this is a powerful message which needs to be shared.
As with all Marton's books, this is well-paced, well-written, albeit with a few more errors than I like, and although I guessed the perperator fairly early, it was still hard to put down. Four stars.