Lori, who has come to Iraq to set up an orphanage, is taken hostage by terrorists. She struggles to find the strength to endure the isolation and brutality. Her physical survival is closely linked to her emotional state as she is moved from place to place in an effort to keep her one step ahead of an American extract team.
Big M (Amazon) says, “I was captured by this story within the first few pages. A well researched novel depicting the ordeal of a hostage situation. The main character was bought to life and I was able to feel how she felt and the torment she went through.
I thoroughly recommend this novel.”
‘Cry or I make you cry.’
Lori Austen looked at the dark slits that were the man’s eyes, and scalding tears rolled from her own and burned a path down her cheeks. She hated him. Her family would see this. Anger stabbed through her.
She glanced at the video recorder set up before her and then stared at the other man holding a jagged piece of cardboard. His eyes were different, not so cold, but the face and clothes were the same. The week-old stubble on their dark faces and unwashed camouflage trousers spoke of desperation or fanaticism, and both made her afraid.
A prod in her back, and her fury grew. As she blurted out the jumble of words written in black pen on the board, she turned her palms upward on her lap and curled one into a fist, leaving the middle finger raised.
She knew in that moment that she had been turned into a killer. If she had had a blade in her hand she would have sunk it into her tormentor’s chest and relished watching him fall to his knees, watched him as he crumpled forward onto his face, the light gone from those inhuman eyes.
When she finished, he took a step forward and caressed her face. ‘Good girl.’
She recoiled, a snake about to strike. He lifted his hand and slammed it against her cheekbone. ‘Bitch,’ he hissed and strode from the room.
Lori sat rigid while his aide gathered up the recorder and walked to the door. As he reached it, he turned and his lips parted as if he wished to speak but a shout outside had him slam the door shut and the padlock clicked into place.
Then she closed her eyes in pain and touched her already swelling cheek. Her fingers came away sticky and she looked down at her bloody, trembling hand and watched in fascination as the vibrations moved up her arm and into her shoulder. In these men she saw little humanity. She slid from the seat onto her mattress and eased her knees up to her chest. Rocking, she drew on a white light and pulled it down through the top of her head to flood her senses, blow away the darkness. She would survive this. The bastards – she would survive them.