Reviewed by Melanie Kline
Based in Tasmania, Australia, The Devil’s Cradle is a story of Nina Holt who has become a prisoner of her politically powerful husband, Michael, and his brother Greg, a sadistic detective. The only light in her life is her son, nine-year-old Sam. Nina endures her situation and torture only because she knows that she can never escape with Sam; she will endure anything to have her beloved son with her.
When Sam lashes out at Nina in a mirror image of Michael—who has been grooming their son to imitate his behavior—Nina knows that it is time to run. She inventories the money hidden from Michael in bleach bottles over the years, lies to Sam about her feelings for her husband, who considers his father to be perfect, and gets him into the car to escape – taking nothing except the clothes on their backs and a bag full of coins.
After Nina crashes her car into a tree, Case Herder, a former policeman, stops to offer her assistance. Nina is wary but sees no other choice, so she and Sam leave with Case. Nina doesn’t know that Case believes Michael had something to do with Case’s wife’s death two years previously and has been investigating and following Michael for quite some time. Case was, in fact, on his way to Michael and Nina’s home in hopes of getting some information from her when he came across them crashed into the tree.
Michael and Greg eventually figure out that Nina and Sam are with Case on Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain. The chase is on, and the two brothers will stop at nothing to punish Nina and retrieve Sam.
The Devil’s Cradle was a very exciting read. You find yourself shocked and sad for Nina and the situation she has found herself in, elated that she finally stands up for herself and Sam by fleeing and terrified when Michael and Chase come after them. The book is simply an intense page turner and a great read. Readers should know that sexual and physical abuses are graphically portrayed in The Devil’s Cradle. The novel is inappropriate for younger readers or those who dislike promiscuous language and scenes. The author uses Australian terminology frequently in this book; language differences will not inhibit readers from understanding the text.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by N.L. Lamont. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.