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From psychological suspense, and reactions of those close to the victims after a tragedy, BABY DOLL is a compulsive debut; a story of evil, survival, and revenge- from talented TV writer Hollie Overton, known for her work on Last Call (2007), Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments (2016) and The Client List (2012).
Held for eight years in a remote cabin, a young woman and her young daughter, finally escape the clutches of their psycho-captor who leads a double life. When returning to their home, what they find is nothing close to normal. A family torn apart at the seams.
Lily Riser is a twin and at age sixteen she is kidnapped near the local high school. With years of captivity, abused both mentally, emotionally, and physically, she was not allowed to leave. A man saying, he loved her. He is married to someone else who comes from a wealthy family. He is supposed to be off writing in a remote cabin.
Lily also has a daughter, Sky (six years old), conceived while in captivity. They have only books to entertain them; however, Sky knows nothing of the outside world except a father and a mother. Lily taught her what to do, in the event they had the opportunity to escape. One day, it happened. The evil man was in a hurry and failed to lock the bolt. Lily and Sky took this opportunity. They were not far, from their home.
However, when they arrive home, everything seems to have changed. This is where the book turns inward to the those left behind, more so than the two victims. Readers learn early on, the identity of the captor, which shocks everyone.
Of course, we all know, real psychopaths are the ones who are so conspiratorial they can fool everyone with intelligence, looks, and multiple personalities. (Good and Evil). The girls are his "Baby Dolls."
Dave the father died of a heart attack soon after the abduction, with all the stress (Lily was his favorite girl). Eve, the mother sleeps with multiple men, to dull the pain (a man was there the night they arrived). The person with the most damage was of course, her identical twin, Abby. She is now ashamed of the things she has done while her twin has been gone. She will not be proud of her.
Lily is shocked at her sister Abby's behavior. From a suicide attempt, an addict, and now pregnant. Sky is totally confused by these people, since she has never met them, and wonders about her dad. She does not understand.
The intensity is high as well as emotions when Lily’s first love appears. Is Abby still unstable, and ready to act out her revenge - her sisters captor. Each person struggles to piece their shattered life back together. With heartfelt emotion, and the strong bonds of identical sisters- An unforgettable portrait of desperation, loyalty, and evil.
As a graphic artist and former publisher, I am attracted to strong front covers. Loved the bold cover, and the colors, with a bit of mystery and intrigue -as well as the title. I purchased the audiobook and the three different narrators,Jenna Lamia, MacLeod Andrews, Ellen Archer gave a wide range of voices for the main characters. The audio was compelling, thought-provoking, and absorbing!
There have been a wide range of reviews—I thought this was a great portrayal of life after tragedy (survival), not only for the two victims-the entire family. The author delves into the lives and the psychological fall out. Possibly some readers are seeking more of a crime thriller (apparent in the first part of the book) and are disappointed; however, I feel it is more of a domestic and psychological suspense.
For this reason, would compare to: Emma Donoghue’s Room,Chevy Stevens' Still Missing, That Night, and Those Girls as well as Chelsea Cain's One Kick. Also for fans of David Bell, Lisa Genova, Laura Lippman, Susan Lewis, Amy Hatvany, Randy Susan Meyers, and Heather Gudenkauf.
Hollie Overton was raised by her single mother, and—an identical twin herself—she draws on her unique childhood experiences for her first novel, Baby Doll. Overton's father was a member of the notorious Overton gang in Austin, Texas, and spent several years in prison for manslaughter. Hollie is a television writer and resides in Los Angeles. A name we are assured to see and hear, more of!
A recent interview with the author. "Baby Doll is a stand-alone. It’s not a series. The second book is set in Texas, and deals with a woman who works on death row so it’s also a crime thriller. That’s really the only parameters that my editors gave me, and it’s something I’m pretty obsessed with anyway. Dateline is kind of my obsession. And now I write about vampires, werewolves."