Sam and Lloyd, a couple of 11 year olds, hitch a ride in a stranger’s car only to realize that it was the single greatest mistake of their young lives. They are taken to a big, old and creepy mansion and locked up separately. From the very beginning, one thing is clear to both the boys – the man had kidnapped them with cruel intentions. What will happen to them and how will they – if they do manage it – escape from the clutches of their kidnapper? How do they both deal with the situation?
This is an amazingly gripping thriller. It gets so creepy at times that I had to look up a few times just to make sure that I was at the comfort of my own home and not stuck with those two 11 year olds! Yeah, I know that’s weird, but true!! The sense of fear that appears in Sam and Lloyd once they realize that they had made a mistake in getting into a stranger’s car, actually manages to settle into the reader. It is mainly because of the author’s amazing narration and nothing else. Even though she doesn’t give much time in building up the characters, as a reader you start to feel for the kids. Also, Ms.Savita’s vivid description of every little detail helps us get into the comfortable feeling of knowing the surroundings of wherever the story takes us. The best (or the worst) part is that she actually doesn’t tell us directly about the way the boys are treated. There are just hints here and there for us to pick up and then imagine the worst scenarios!! The two characters Sam and Lloyd seem to be very different from each other. While in danger, when Lloyd freezes, Sam is the one to jump into action. While we can applaud Sam’s bravery, we cannot really blame Lloyd for being scared to do anything – he is after all an eleven year old.
The book can also serve as a lesson to kids about how important it is to remain vigilant at all times. The world is after all full of people who can and do hurt children in all sorts of unimaginable ways. I would recommend it to all mature readers.