Manipulated by fear and love…could you cut the strings and take back control?
Billie’s hiding from the world, believing it to be the only way to take control of her life as she lives in fear of the man who nearly destroyed her. But what she doesn’t realise is that she’s exactly where he wants her; isolated and afraid. A chance meeting with budding journalist Adam sparks a relationship that could free her from the terror that controls her. But will Adam be able to see the real Billie buried under her terror and pain?
Adam knows exactly who Billie is and is determined to expose her and get justice for the lives she ruined. But first, he needs to convince her to open up to him but as unwanted attraction and feelings blossom between them, Adam is forced to realise that all is not as it seems.
Most of their lives have been unknowingly governed by the desires and needs of someone who considers himself their master. He has influenced and shaped them for years, meticulously weaving a web of lies and control around them. Can Billie and Adam survive the betrayals in store and cut the strings that bind them?
One thing is for sure. The master wants his puppets back – and he’ll do anything to keep them.
This story in told in three separate parts and from two viewpoints, that of Billie and Adam. Part one is set in the present day and you’re first introduced to Billie. I really felt for her, it’s clear she’s experienced some trauma in her past and she’s very withdrawn, wounded and vulnerable. When you learn exactly what happened to her you can sympathize completely. Adam seems to recognize Billie when they share a table in a coffee shop and while he portrays himself as a kind, gentle man to Billie, inside he vows revenge to get revenge on her, but why? And how?
Part two ends on a cliffhanger and flips back to the past where you follow both Adam and Billie from young adulthood all the way until present day. Things merge together in part three and the tension mounts in this section. The pace is fairly steady in the first two parts, but as you get closer to the end things pick up and the chapters get shorter and more nerve wracking.
I liked Osborne’s writing style, she was able to craft Billie in a way that appealed to my mothering instincts and I just wanted to take care of her. Adam wasn’t the sort of character that I liked very much, but that never bothers me and the puppet master was one manipulative, cunning, evil man. My only issue with the book was that parts of the big climax seemed implausible, I don’t want to say exactly why as it would be a huge spoiler, but I found myself thinking things wouldn’t go down exactly that way. I did enjoy the read, it was quick and kept my attention, I would definitely read another book by the author.
Overall rating: 3.5/5
Thanks to the author for my review copy.