There’s so much about the novel Dark Lie by Nancy Springer that I liked. For a novel that is the author’s first attempt at suspense, I was very impressed. This story is indeed full of suspense, terror and surprises that made it very difficult for me to put the book down. I could not stop reading it, especially since almost every chapter ended with a cliffhanger. The crux of this story is every mother’s worst nightmare: Seeing your teenager abducted. But what happens when the teenager doesn’t know you are her mother? Worse, that you can’t be her mother, because somebody else is her mother? This is the situation that Dorrie White is in when she sees the daughter she was forced to give up for adoption get whacked over the head then tossed into a van. The novel also covers issues like teen pregnancy, religious fanaticism and adoption, though not in depth, but the reader would notice such things and perhaps even think about these issues.
The story also contained some very good characters. There are Dorrie’s parents, the religious fanatics who are constantly holier-than-thou with their daughter. There is Dorrie’s husband Sam, a character I admired because, even as he tried to play by the rules and strive to be polite (such as counting to 10 before he spoke), he is strong, smart and would not give up on Dorrie even when everyone else (except for Father Lewinski) was trying to get in his way. There is also the kidnapper, whose identity I cannot reveal here, but once the reader knows who he is, he can chill readers to the bone with his dark, twisted past and scary demeanor. I also liked the character Sissy, a cop who helps Mr. White when he is trying to find his missing wife. She is awesome! I also liked how she introduced herself to the FBI agent as “Sistine Chappell, no relation to the Vatican.” Yes, there are light and funny moments in this story in addition to the scary stuff, and that’s what made the story even better.
I enjoyed reading this novel. It is definitely recommended to anyone looking for a suspenseful and chilling story that would keep them turning the pages until the very end.
Dorrie White can only watch in horror as the daughter she gave up for adoption is kidnapped by someone with an intent to hurt, maybe even kill her. Or is it because the kidnapper wants ransom money, since the girl is the adopted daughter of a district attorney? She has no time to think. Instead, she jumps into her car and takes pursuit, calling 911 in transit. But things go wrong, terribly wrong, and Dorrie eventually ends up in the van right along with her daughter. The nightmare intensifies after she figures out who the kidnapper is, and the horrors only continue as the man’s dark past and twisted personality come to life. Dorrie must try to save her daughter, herself, or both of them before it is too late.
In this gripping psychological thriller--smart, chilling, and unrelenting--Nancy Springer establishes herself as an exciting new suspense writer with a distinctive voice and some surprises up her sleeve... To their neighbors, Dorrie and Sam Whiteare a contented couple in America’s heartland, with steady jobs, a suburban home, and plenty of community activities to keep them busy. But they’re not quite what they seem. For plain, hard-working Sam hides a depth of devotion for his wife that no one would suspect. And Dorrie is living a lie--beset by physical ailments, alone within herself...and secretly following the comings and goings of the sixteen-year-old daughter, Juliet, she gave up for adoption when she was hardly more than a child herself. Then one day at the mall, Dorrie watches horror-stricken as Juliet is abducted, forced into a van that drives away. Instinctively, Dorrie sends her own car speeding after it--an act of reckless courage that puts her on a collision course with a depraved killer...and draws Sam into a dogged, desperate search to save his wife. As mother and daughter unite in a terrifying struggle to survive, to what extremes will Dorrie go in overcoming her own limitations...and in confronting her dark, tormented past?