A man lurks in the shadows, spying on a girl in a red party dress.
The girl, Libby, is trying to shrug off a bad date. Not for a moment does she suspect that this night is the end of life as she knows it. The man pounces; Libby is grabbed and driven away. Held prisoner in a basement, she grapples with constant fear, all the while sustaining herself with thoughts of escape. Meanwhile, her captor is engaged on another mission, that of abducting a young boy to complete his 'family'.
Will Libby ever escape? Or will the man kill her? And what of the boy who refuses to submit to the man's demands? Can he possibly survive his merciless anger?
I was intrigued with this story as soon as I read this teaser. Do you remember the movie Castaway? With Tom Hanks? It was a three hour movie marathon that pretty much took place with one character in one location. But it worked! Well that movie is what I was thinking of before starting the book. How will the author keep the pace and tension with one character in one location for a young adult audience?
Well she was able to keep both pace and tension and a whole lot more! The Girl in the Basement is a gripping read from talented storyteller, Dianne Bates.
Bates writes with just enough restraint to ensure the pace is perfectly executed. Initially you are getting to know the characters, figuring out the plot and just settling into the story. Then before you know it – WHAM, the pace has built and the rollercoaster ride has begun. The best part is you don’t even know you’ve been caught up in the momentum! It’s not until your whole body is tight with tension and you haven’t taken a breath that you even realise you jumped aboard the ride.
Bates was very clever by writing with two points of view. The majority is from Libby, the kidnapping victim’s perspective. It is through her first person narrative that the storyline is written and fleshed out. However, we also get glimpses into the kidnappers mind though third person POV. This opposing perspective is such a contrast to Libby’s voice. It gives the reader some background about the kidnapper that Libby doesn’t know and at times completes the story told by Libby. His POV didn’t invoke my sympathy nor try to justify his motives. It did answer my questions as I turned the pages and I think this is what makes it necessary to the storyline.
Books are available from any bookstore in Australia, many online stores as a paperback and eBook, (including Amazon) and from the publisher Morris Publishing Australia.
Dianne Bates has published 120+ books over the past 30 years. Some of these books have won national and state literary awards; others have sold overseas and in translation. Di has received Grants and Fellowships from the Literature Board of the Australia Council and is a recipient of The Lady Cutler Prize for distinguished services to children's Literature. To learn more follow the links!
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