Blog Tour | Book Review: The Second Captive by Maggie James

The Second Captive - Maggie James

Stockholm syndrome: the psychological tendency of a hostage to bond with his or her captor.

I’m delighted to be closing the blog tour for The Second Captive alongside Pageturnersnook. As soon as I read the blurb for this book, I wanted in, the concept of Stockholm syndrome has always fascinated me and I’m happy to report, James portrayed it brilliantly.

Book Description:

Beth Sutton is eighteen years old when she is abducted. Held prisoner in a basement, she’s dependent on her captor for food, clothes and her very existence. As the months pass, her hatred towards her imprisoner changes to compassion.

But Beth cannot forget that her abductor is also a killer. And she has evidence to prove it…

Then Beth escapes

Can Beth escape from the prison that she has found herself in?

And is there a relationship between love and fear?

My Thoughts:

The Second Captive is split into two parts: before the abduction and after the abduction, so I’m going to split my review into two parts – and you’ll clearly see which part I enjoyed more…

Part I – Before: I enjoyed part one, I thought it laid the foundation perfectly for part two by detailing how Beth’s captivity with Dominic played out – the abuse he reigned down on her wasn’t intense physically but so emotionally manipulative, truly psychological. This part is narrated by Beth and Dominic. Interestingly, I didn’t feel as drawn to Beth as I thought I would and I didn’t dislike Dominic as much as I thought I would either. The more I think about it, the more I see how Stockholm syndrome works, it’s so subtle, that even as the reader, I didn’t feel it’s impact until part 2…

Part II – After: Now this is where the plot really took off for me, the aftermath, narrated by Beth and her mum, Ursula, we see the impact Beth’s captivity and escape had on her and her family. Enter my favourite character – Ursula – her determination to help her daughter was commendable. James did a wonderful job showing how events affected Ursula – I was confused by Beth’s actions, I so wanted to understand how she could feel anything, except hatred, towards her captor and that’s what made me like Ursula so much, the way she handled things, the patience she exhibited.

The tension in this part was sky-high, Beth was so fragile, while reading this part of the book, I keep thinking “oh no, she’s going to go back to Dominic.” While understanding the plot, my inability to put myself in Beth’s shoes made this psychologically thrilling because I keep asking myself what I would do in her situation but I just couldn’t see myself acting the way she did. My desire to understand coupled with the way Ursula supported her daughter gripped me to the pages of part II.

The plot doesn’t move at breakneck speed as that wasn’t needed in this novel, the slower, steadier pace allows the reader to get psychologically involved in this story. If you’re a fan of abduction thrillers, or interested in how Stockholm syndrome works, The Second Captive is a must read!

This book is available to buy from: Amazon UK / Amazon US

*My thanks to Bloodhound Books for providing me with a digital copy of this book and inviting me to take part in the blog tour*

About the author:

Maggie James is a British author who lives in Bristol. She writes psychological suspense novels.

Maggie James authorBefore turning her hand to writing, Maggie worked mainly as an accountant, with a diversion into practising as a nutritional therapist. Diet and health remain high on her list of interests, along with travel. Accountancy does not, but then it never did. The urge to pack a bag and go off travelling is always lurking in the background! When not writing, going to the gym, practising yoga or travelling, Maggie can be found seeking new four-legged friends to pet; animals are a lifelong love!

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5 thoughts on “Blog Tour | Book Review: The Second Captive by Maggie James

  1. Great review! I am fascinated by Stockholm syndrome and how it works. The lines blur and things get more complicated, and I keep wondering if it’s the brain’s way of coping, of surviving, or if there’s more to it. I don’t know, it’s just so difficult to understand and yet…

    Liked by 1 person

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