Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Devil's Cradle by Darcy Daniel: Review



On Australia’s island state, more than one species of Tasmanian Devil exists...

Beneath the surface of Nina Holt’s perfect marriage lurks a life of terror inflicted upon her by her politically powerful husband Michael and his brother Greg, a sadistic detective. For over a decade they have managed to keep Nina imprisoned, using her to satisfy their every whim.

Worse still, the only light in her life—her 9-year-old son, Sam—considers Michael a hero. When Sam imitates Michael’s violence by lashing out at her, Nina knows it’s time for both of them to escape before Sam truly turns into the monster Michael is grooming him to become.

After crashing her car in her haste to escape, kind motorist Case Herder offers her help. Unaware that he has his own plans for her, Nina accepts, igniting a deadly game of cat and mouse as they flee across Tasmania with Sam.

As Michael and Greg relentlessly hunt them down to Cradle Mountain, Nina finds herself with nowhere left to run. Cornered, she has no choice but to face evil head-on.




This book contains some graphic violence and disturbing sexual situations. The spousal abuse is abhorrent.  I was easily sucked into Nina’s story and became invested in the outcome early on.  Nina has been living a nightmare for years; alienated and confined with virtually no hope for escape, she impulsively grabs her nine-year-old son, Sam, and takes off without any real plan for the future and just a small cache of savings.  From the start her journey is filled with mishaps, distrustfulness, and near misses. 

The writing style flowed easily and even without much embellishment I could feel Nina’s desperation and profound fear.  Set in the exotic location of Tasmania, I would have liked to have had a little more descriptive narrative about the country, the animals, and the plants.  I kept having to remind myself that this is Tasmania, not the Rocky or Appalachian Mountains.  The story and the characters were so well-defined the location seemed overshadowed most of the time.

There is outstanding psychological suspense throughout the book.  I particularly liked the way in which Nina’s resolve, steadfast determination to protect her son at any cost, and personal growth led to making her a stronger, more self-reliant woman.  Interweaving her experiences and Case Herder’s tragic story was a stroke of genius, as motive and sacrifice clashed.

This book was given to me in exchange for my honest review.

Reviewed by Laurie-J


I've loved reading from an early age and fell in love with many genres, but was drawn most of all to thrillers and romances - leaving me thrilled when I won the Charter Oak Golden Acorn contest for Best Contemporary Series Romance.
I live on acreage in a cottage with my family and energetic dog. With friends and family close by, I enjoy country life in the picturesque, historic town of Windsor in Sydney, Australia.


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