Kept in the Dark

Penny Hancock. Plume, $15 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-452-29833-0
In British author Hancock’s stunning debut, a psychological thriller set over less than a week, a respectable married woman kidnaps a 15-year-old boy and holds him captive in her historic Thames-side London house. When Jez Mahfoud, a friend’s nephew, comes to borrow her husband’s rare Tim Buckley record album, memories of an intense teenage relationship with a boy named Seb overwhelm Sonia, a voice teacher. She drugs the innocent Jez and locks him in a soundproof room. As the search for the missing Jez intensifies, so does Sonia’s compulsion to keep him hidden, especially during a visit from her family. The disturbed narrator persuades herself that this drugged boy, often bound with duct tape, is a willing participant. Despite Sonia’s twisted actions and her sensual feelings about Jez, Hancock is careful to show that she’s not a sexual predator. Descriptions of the putrid waters of the Thames add to the gothic atmosphere. Agent: Jane Gregory, Gregory and Company. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/16/2012
Release date: 08/28/2012
Compact Disc - 978-1-4708-1514-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-4708-1515-8
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4708-1519-6
MP3 CD - 978-1-4708-1516-5
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-101-60348-2
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4708-1518-9
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