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The Prisoner


The Prisoner

B. A. Paris’ psychological thrillers are often hard to predict. I can proudly state that her latest release, THE PRISONER, had me the most perplexed --- in a good way --- primarily because readers will be left wondering where exactly this novel is going, and they will feel like this right through to the very end.

Paris wastes zero time getting to the heart of the action as the first chapter, set in the present, shows our young protagonist being abducted with thick, sticky tape slapped across her mouth. It surprises Amelie to realize that her new billionaire husband, Ned Hawthorne, also has been captured. She would have bet anything that he would have been behind any move that threatened her life. However, not everything is completely what it seems at any point in this book, and the fun is discovering along with Amelie what exactly is going on here.

"[R]eaders will be left wondering where exactly this novel is going, and they will feel like this right through to the very end."

In the chapters set in the past, we begin our path with Amelie as a young, homeless girl. Carolyn Blakely feels sympathy for her when she sees her hungry and desperate at a local coffee shop. So she brings her on as a live-in maid. Ever grateful, Amelie does not take this act of kindness lightly and does all she can to excel at her job and repay Carolyn’s faith in her. As a result, Amelie, who is saving up for college, gets exposed to Carolyn’s influential circle of friends and eventually will build connections for her own future through them.

This all changes, though, when Amelie meets Ned. On a business trip to Las Vegas, he proposes to give her $100,000 to be used towards her college tuition. All she has to do is marry him in a sham wedding, all under the guise of getting him out of an arranged marriage that he is seeking to avoid. After a very brief period of time, he will annul the union and present her with her promised windfall.

If this all sounds too good to be true, it probably is. But Amelie is so blinded by the money that she agrees to the deal without thinking of the consequences, which will end up being a huge mistake. Especially when she learns shortly after the wedding that Ned has been accused of sexually assaulting a close friend of Carolyn’s.

What finally convinces Amelie of her poor judgment is when Ned willingly throws her under the bus, telling their abductors to go ahead and kill her, all in an effort to get his father to pay the ransom that will give him his freedom. It is at this point that THE PRISONER takes on its unexpected element as Amelie begins to feel safer around her unknown captors than the man who regrettably is now her husband.

This ride will drive the latter half of the novel with surprise after surprise, showing once again why B. A. Paris is a master of trickery and producing psychological thrillers that will keep you guessing.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on November 4, 2022

The Prisoner
by B. A. Paris