Bestselling adult and teen thriller writer April Henry will not disappoint suspense fans with her latest nail-biter. Sixteen-year-old Cheyenne Wilder is sleeping in the back of her stepmom’s car when the vehicle is stolen. Then her kidnappers discover that she’s the daughter of a sportswear CEO. She knows they will not need her once they get their ransom, so she has to find a way to escape before she’s killed. While that premise is page-turning enough, readers will also wonder what will happen to Griffin, the young man who just thought he was stealing a car and is himself a sort of hostage of his abusive father.
Cheyenne is also struggling with pneumonia. She had been in the car while her stepmom picked up antibiotics and wanted the keys in the ignition for the heater. Though she’s been blind for three years, she still has to work to use all her other senses to figure out what her surroundings are like. When she’s tied up, she’s able to break a glass and keep a piece without her captors knowing, but she has no idea where she is or what way would lead to help.
From the moment he realizes there’s a passenger in the new Escalade he stole, Griffin knows his life will be changed forever. Suddenly, helping his father run his chop shop seems shameful rather than a way to make a living. Cheyenne can’t see him or his dingy house, but suddenly Griffin is seeing everything more clearly. He now realizes what the two rough men who work for his father are really like: they’re monsters who want to rape Cheyenne while waiting for her money.
Griffin’s dad hits him while demanding five million dollars from Cheyenne’s family. She and Griffin get to know each other through the tension-filled day and realize they are both without mothers, neither can read, and they have many similar feelings. That bond stirs hope in Cheyenne and a grim resolve in Griffin to break from his father’s downward spiral.
Guns, a dangerous escape attempt, and a criminal more dangerous than either Cheyenne or Griffin realized they were dealing with ratchet up the suspense right until the end. April Henry does a terrific job recounting the difficulties of Cheyenne’s blindness and Griffin’s life, and readers will find sympathy for both in this pulse-pounding thriller.
Reviewed by Amy Alessio on September 28, 2010