2 out of 4 stars
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Prison Blade is Niki Hebert McQuilling’s first novel. This book falls into the Romance genre but has many dark scenes and lots of dark humor. A friendly warning, it is not for the faint of heart. Rape and domestic violence are the themes of this book, and they are, in my opinion, brutal.
Abigail Averies is on the run from her past. A past that leaves her constantly looking over her shoulder waiting. Waiting for the time when her past will mix with her future. Running from an abusive husband who refuses to let her go, she fakes her death after her daughter is killed in a car accident. Leaving her husband and a family to mourn the loss of her, Abigail starts her life over. Working as a police officer in Louisiana, Abigail builds a new life for herself. Complete with a dog, a best friend, and a love interest. But when her husband finds her and forces his way back into her life, she knows it’s only a matter of time before things come crashing down around her.
Erik, her husband, worms his way into her life when he learns that she is alive and well. Vowing that he would remove her from her current life just because he could. Spending months planning, Erik finally lives up to his promise, stealing her away from her life to live secluded in the woods. Every day, Abigail prays for death or some relief. I honestly kept waiting for a knight in shining armor to swoop in and save the day. Just when she is ready to give up completely, her best friend somehow arrives with a team of other police officers removing her from out of her husband’s clutches.
From beginning to end, the story line itself was good. The many explicit rape scenes made me uncomfortable, and there were a few times I debated on whether to keep reading. I pushed through it though, and as the end came into view, I was glad that I did. The characters were believable, and there was growth, something I always enjoy seeing in a book. I saw growth especially in Abigail, going from the defeated, broken woman to the strong fighter she was at the end. It made her character more believable and to someone who has gone through a similar situation, relate-able. That is all I can say I liked about this story, though.
From the very beginning, I noticed a severe lack of proofreading. Missing punctuation, homophone-related errors, repeated words, etc. Unfortunately, it was a major distraction when there were several errors on a page at once, especially when it made the sentences confusing. Then, the plot had flaws that left me asking questions. She was given a means to escape, except for a new identity. Her first name remained the same before fake death and after. And that is just the start.
I wanted to like this story. The story has a lot of potential. The author took a big risk writing about such a touchy subject the way she did. I could have done without all of the rape scenes (there were many). I have to give Prison Blade by Niki Hebert McQuilling a 2 out of 4 stars. At first, I struggled with wanting to give it a 3 star because the story line, as I said is a good one, but with everything I found wrong with this book, it just brought it down greatly. As for recommending it, I don’t think I can. As stated in the first paragraph, this book is not for the faint of heart. The book is based around explicit scenes of rape and domestic violence, so if you can handle it and feel it’s worth checking out then, by all means, go for it!
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