285693Reviewed by Melanie Kline

I received Kept in the Dark with great expectations of an adventure into the twisted world of Sonia, a wife, mother and the last person anyone would suspect of a kidnapping, and Jez, a smart, talented fifteen year old boy. The cover boasted: “Drawn to Jez by a compulsion that she scarcely understands, Sonia takes him captive – prepared to sacrifice everything to keep him.” I could hardly wait to begin reading and unearthing the twisted story. Unfortunately, I am writing this review without the same fervor I once had, and the book is disappointingly unfinished.

Frustrated would not even begin to describe my feelings for Kept in the Dark. The story was so unbelievably bland and seemed to be missing something vital. It made absolutely no sense in some places and others were completely unbelievable. Would you, as a reader, buy into a perfectly rational fifteen year old boy truly believing that his neighbor would keep him not only locked in a room, but drugged and tied to a bed just to keep him busy while his aunt plans his birthday party?

Written with chapters alternating back and forth between Jez’s captivity by Sonia and her memories of Seb, – whose importance I never understood but who apparently used a teenage Sonia to satisfy his taboo sexual fetishes – the book felt as if it were a rough draft of an idea for a book instead of a finished novel. I had to force myself to read and even then couldn’t manage more than a page or two at a time. I just can’t buy into a fifteen year old boy being held captive and not putting up any fight at all because he thinks he’s getting a party. That, combined with the dry, boring prose was entirely too much for me to complete the story. I do, however, give Kept in the Dark credit for being only the second book in my lifetime of reading that I couldn’t bring myself to finish…

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ 

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Plume. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.