On her way to Utah to see her dying mother, college student Darby Thorne gets caught in a fierce blizzard in the mountains of Colorado. With the roads impassable, she’s forced to wait out the storm at a remote highway rest stop. Inside, are some vending machines, a coffee maker, and four complete strangers.
Desperate to find a signal to call home, Darby goes back out into the storm . . . and makes a horrifying discovery. In the back of the van parked next to her car, a little girl is locked in an animal crate.
Who is the child? Why has she been taken? And how can Darby save her?
There is no cell phone reception, no telephone, and no way out. One of her fellow travelers is a kidnapper. But which one?
Trapped in an increasingly dangerous situation, with a child’s life and her own on the line, Darby must find a way to break the girl out of the van and escape.
But who can she trust?
This was actually one of my Book of the Month picks. I don’t remember when I got it though. I believe it’s from December 2018, but that’s certainly not when I ordered it.
“Inhale. Count to five. Exhale.”
The characters in this novel are all very distinctive. The descriptions of them made me feel like I knew each one. I could picture them in my head, and I don’t have a big imagination.
Darby is my favorite heroine in the novel. She really comes through for Jay, even though she doesn’t really think about who she confronts about the whole situation. I’m probably all talk, but I would assume something weird is going on between everyone. I guess if you’re the one it’s happening to, then you can’t really see the big picture in a panic. I don’t blame her for taking some type of action though. There’s no way she would just let the villain drive off with the poor girl.
I enjoyed the small pieces of background about her and her mother. It just shows how much of a struggle she is having. It proves her to be even more heroic than what she already is.
Sandi was a very odd character. I didn’t like how she treated Ed while they were playing card games. She annoyed me all the way through the book.
Lars is definitely the outcast in this situation. He just stands by the door while he breaths through his mouth. Apparently, he also needs to relieve a lot of gas during the time frame of the novel.
Ashley is just arrogant. I hated him from the moment our main character meets him. I hate how he speaks to Lars. I thought it was funny that the people made fun of him for having a “woman’s” name. I’m not saying it is, but I just though it was funny since he’s a jerk.
Darby Throne, college-student, finds out via text message from her sister that her mother is dying of late-stage pancreatic cancer. She is going to school in Boulder, Colorado but her mother lives in Utah. She doesn’t want to drive anywhere during Christmas break, but now she’s pretty much obligated. Unfortunately, she hasn’t been getting along with her mother.
While on State Route Six (Backbone Pass) she hits a blizzard that is unrelenting and impassable. She has to pull over at a rest stop before she can go any further. Terrifyingly enough, she stops at Wanashono—Big Devil. But, for a good chunk of the novel, she believes she’s at the Wanasho—Little Devil—rest stop. This mistake comes back to haunt her.
While inside the rest stop she runs into four other people, three people initially—Ed, Sandi, Ashley, and Lars. Ed, Ashley, and Lars sit around and play card games. They joke about Ashley being able to do magic, and whether or not Ashley is a woman’s or a man’s name. Lars, the mouth-breather, stands by the door where the brochures are, creepily.
Darby is told that there was an ounce of cell reception in a certain area outside by some odd children statues. While she goes out there she glances inside a van, owned by one of the people inside, and notices a small hand and a cage. Come to find out, there’s a little girl named Jay Nissen in the back of the van, and Darby needs to figure out who’s responsible. Let’s just say she fights like hell to save that little girl’s life.
“The difference between a hero and a victim? Timing.”
I’ve never read a thriller like this before. I thought that it was well done. The anticipation during certain parts killed me, so I ended up reading almost 200 pages of this is one sitting. Some parts toward the end were quite unbelievable, and I didn’t like the choices that were made, but it didn’t deter me enough to lower the rating.
This was the main reason I dropped the rating to four stars. It was super cheesy and a little repetitive. It’s mainly Darby’s thoughts that were repetitive. Honestly, I almost wasn’t going to finish it after the first chapter. I pushed through, thankfully, but it was very hard to get to that point.
I would definitely recommend it. It’s one of the more unique thrillers I’ve ever read. It had all of the right vibes, and if you can get past the very blunt, repetitive, and cheesy writing, then you’re golden!
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