A serial rapist, John, is kidnapping teenage girls, but he isn’t interested in all teenage girls. He targets virgins. By following their social media accounts, he bides his time and waits for the perfect opportunity. Locked away in a soundproof cellar, they are groomed until they are ready. However, when Ella arrives in the cellar, Sarah knows she is different from the others. Sarah has been in the basement the longest and knows how things work. Nobody escapes alive. Or maybe they do….
Appetite for Innocence by Lucinda Berry was my first experience with this author and I am pleased to say it will not be my last! From the first moments of the book, I was hooked. Fast paced and full of tension, I could not tear my eyes away from the pages as I became consumed by the story of the girl’s captivity.
The novel opens with the girls waking up in a hospital. From there, we hear of their captivity, they abduction and the events that took place during their time in the cellar. Initially, I was a little confused with this narrative style. The novel is told between alternating characters (Sarah and Ella) but also in two alternating time periods (then and now). Sometimes the chapters would be back to back with Sarah (then) and Sarah (now). However, after a few chapters, I settled right in.
Ella and Sarah were both fascinating characters to watch their development and story arcs unfold; both coming from completely different perspectives and dealing with their trauma in completely different ways.
This novel claims to be for fans of The Girl Before by Rena Olsen or The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison and I completely agree. I was thinking of these novels throughout my reading and was pleasantly surprised when I went to the read the book’s synopsis and these books were mentioned.
I would absolutely recommend this novel to anyone looking for something dark, fast paced or for someone who enjoys a novel with a lot of psychological development; this one will get you thinking! 4/5 stars!