Title: A Tortured Soul
Author: L. A. Detwiler
Publication date: August 11th, 2020
Everyone has a breaking point.
At twenty, an unplanned pregnancy seals Crystal Holt into a marriage to the abusive Richard Connor. After a stillborn birth, Crystal insists they have the baby baptized postmortem. A cynic, a drunk, and a poor man, Richard has other plans. When her monstrous husband tosses the baby into the woods to be forgotten, Crystal instantly spirals. After beating her within an inch of her life, Richard does something else he’s done before—he disappears. This time, however, things feel very different…
With her husband gone, Crystal battles with the demons of abuse, dark childhood memories, and a declining mental state worsened by horrific nightmare sequences. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that something’s not quite right about the way Richard disappeared this time, and Crystal is in more danger than ever. After all, not all of the dark secrets belong to Richard.
Will Crystal be able to escape from a lifetime of torture unscathed, or will she succumb to the dark secrets she’s fallen prey to before?
A twisted page-turner that will shake even the toughest horror and thriller fans…
TW: domestic abuse, sexual violence, rape, assault, murder
If you enjoy psychological thrillers, you’ll want to read this book. Told from the perspective of Crystal, she details her life as an abused woman. She grew up with abusive parents, married an abusive man, and lives her life being abused. But when she loses her baby, things change. Her husband leaves, which isn’t unusual, and she is left alone. She doesn’t know how much time she has until he reappears, but she starts to enjoy some things she hasn’t been able to since he left. But when people start looking for him, the story gets a lot more complicated, and Crystal starts to unravel.
Before I get too far into this, I want everyone to take my trigger warnings seriously. This book is graphic. The author did not sugar coat anything, and the topics touched on are very serious and could seriously impact someone if they aren’t prepared. So be very mindful as you read this book. Moving along, I was captivated by this book almost from the beginning. My heart ached for Crystal, between her parents and her husband she really had no chance at happiness in life, especially after she lost the baby. There are some chapters where she flashes back and some that depict, I believe, when she is dreaming while her husband is gone. It adds extra dimension to the story, which I think helped a lot.
Let me say again, this book is graphic. There were points where it was too much for me. I don’t read many thrillers, but I have to imagine the descriptions were above average graphic for the genre. It served a purpose though, it clearly shows all the abuse Crystal went through, and the result.
Thank you to the author for providing an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Happy reading, folks!