The Prisoner (2022) by B.A. Paris

Publisher’s Book Synopsis:

Amelie has always been a survivor, from losing her parents as a child in Paris to making it on her own in London. As she builds a career for herself in the magazine industry, she meets, and agrees to marry, Ned Hawthorne.

Amelie wakes up in a pitch-black room, not knowing where she is. Why has she been taken? Who are her mysterious captors? And why does she feel safer here, imprisoned, than she had begun to feel with her husband Ned?

My Review:

B.A. Paris is one of my favourite authors. She constantly delivers heart-pounding, unputdownable thrillers. As with most of Paris’s books, check content warnings before reading them, especially if you are sensitive to toxic relationship depictions. Paris doesn’t spare the reader from her villain’s antics. 

I will try sharing my thoughts without giving away any twists, so I will be somewhat vague regarding the story. I love Paris’s writing; The Prisoner is tightly plotted, the mystery solution is satisfying, and the pacing is organic to the plot. 

Mostly because her prose is addictive and partially because the psychological/emotional tension is too much for my heart, I usually consume her books as fast as I can. At the heart of The Prisoner, we have our heroine, Amelie. She is a young and naive woman who attracts wickedness. Amelie is easy to empathize with and root for. But man, Paris made this girl suffer and brought her to her breaking point! I loved following her character development, though. 

At times, it was hard to follow Amelie’s arc because of how much I could relate to her. Like our MC, I am gullible and, to an extent, naive. I have no danger radar at all. Unlike her, I have been lucky to have people who have my back and often point out the danger in a situation I am about to blindly get into. I can 100% see a person like Amelie in the same circumstances making the same mistakes. (well, most of them, but let’s remember this is a work of fiction).

The story is told in dual timelines, and at present, Amelie and her husband are kidnapped and kept separately, each in a dark unfurnished room. We need to find out who hired the kidnappers and who to trust. But to give you perspective, Amelie has it easier in that room than in her marriage.

Ned, Amelie’s husband, is evil. He is despicable, amoral, and the poster boy for toxic masculinity. And I really appreciate that Paris didn’t try to give his monstrosity a context or background, thus avoiding its justification. In black and white, Ned is a villain. 

My favourite way to consume psychological thrillers is through immersive reading – listening to the audio book while reading with my eyeballs. It adds to the tension and immerses me in the story, reading faster before my blood pressure skyrockets. The Prisoner’s audiobook is outstanding. Georgia Maguire’s pacing was perfect, and I love how she kept the tension throughout the entire book. 

Characters: 9

Plot: 10

Enjoyment: 10

Atmosphere: 10

Intrigue: 10

Writing / Execution: 9            

Fainess / Logic: 10

My total rating: 4.86

Disclaimer: Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for the ARC in return for an honest review.

Until next book, be the hummingbird!

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