“Greenwood’s glowing dark ruby of a novel brilliantly transforms the true crime story that inspired Nabokov’s Lolita. Shatteringly original and eloquently written....So ferociously suspenseful, I found myself holding my breath.” —Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You
Camden, NJ, 1948. When 11 year-old Sally Horner steals a notebook from the local Woolworth's, she has no way of knowing that 52 year-old Frank LaSalle, fresh out of prison, is watching her, preparing to make his move. Accosting her outside the store, Frank convinces Sally that he’s an FBI agent who can have her arrested in a minute—unless she does as he says.
This chilling novel traces the next two harrowing years as Frank mentally and physically assaults Sally while the two of them travel westward from Camden to San Jose, forever altering not only her life, but the lives of her family, friends, and those she meets along the way.
Based on the experiences of real-life kidnapping victim Sally Horner and her captor, whose story shocked the nation and inspired Vladimir Nabokov to write his controversial and iconic Lolita, this heart-pounding story by award-winning author T. Greenwood at last gives a voice to Sally herself.
Greenwood (The Forever Bridge) reimagines the true-crime story that inspired Nabokov's Lolita in this riveting suspense tale that takes readers across state lines and through several years of terror. Eleven-year-old Sally Horner is a shy misfit longing for friendship when Frank LaSalle, pretending to be a cop, tricks her into thinking he could have her arrested after he observes her stealing a notebook. He then inveigles her into his custody and deceives her disabled, widowed mother as to his true identity and intentions. It's all so chillingly plausible that, like Sally, the reader half-believes LaSalle's lies; his assaults on Sally's psyche are at least as troubling as his assaults on her young body as he takes the girl from Camden, N.J., to San Jose, Calif. A minor but important theme concerns the girls whose bullying and ostracism of Sally rendered her more vulnerable to LaSalle's predation. Yet grace touches this dark tale, too, in the form of genuinely kind characters whose concern is a balm to the difficult events of the book including Sally's brother-in-law, whose dogged determination to find Sally drives the search, and a neighbor who turns out to be a lifeline. Greenwood's story will spellbind readers as the terrors mounts.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This book was sad. Based on the true story of Sally, I hadn’t heard of Sally or of her kidnapping. The author does a great job of going back and fourth between the characters. There is a sense of urgency when reading the book to find out what happened to Sally. I couldn’t put the book down. Crummy ending, but it’s what happened in real life.
Stardust and rust
Loved, loved , loved this book! 5 stars without a doubt