Daniel has a difficult relationship with his mother Laura but not so disastrous that he doesn’t pay regular visits to see her but now he has a new woman in his life, the first woman to get passed his super-stud alter ego and he begins examining the life he has led and in particular the shadowy memories of his early years.
We first meet Laura in a police station cell, a powerful and seductive scene and one where Laura states that Daniel is my son. He has always been mine. And he always will be.
The story is told in alternating chapters from both protagonists viewpoints initially prior to the scene where Laura finds herself in prison. Where Laura’s testimony goes back in time to her earliest years for the most part Daniel’s is in the present time although with some reflection on his memories. There is no denying that both storylines are designed to push the reader’s emotional buttons as we hear about Daniel’s father who died in a car accident before the pair could marry, to Laura’s heartbreak during her own early life with an alcoholic mother and a doting Grandmother, the only solid person in her young life.
Maggie James takes the readers on a journey that is all the more shadowy as Laura refuses to talk to anyone, not a word is said, instead her words are for Daniel alone, an explanation, an expose of the damaging secrets that have remained hidden from everyone for many, many years. The author manages to convey the anger in Daniel, his part of the story although no less powerful is angrier and far more present and at times self-absorbed than Laura’s.
Unfortunately I’m not a big fan of lots of internal dialogue which because the construct of this book depends heavily on the hidden thoughts in each of the character’s minds, meant that although I was engaged by the storyline, it wasn’t one that I lost myself in, the way I prefer to read. This is just my own preference for storytelling. Because of my own sense of detachment, I was therefore bound to question the leaps that Daniel’s thought processes took at some points which moved the story along.
What I was impressed with was the way the author illustrated that how even a ‘good-news’ story for one character can have a knock-on effect on other characters, in good and not so good ways, after all no-one lives in a bubble and because these scenes were played out on the page rather than being filtered through the protagonists thoughts, I found them compelling. Be warned even when you think the worst that could happen, has already been and gone, there are more shocks in store for all involved.
His Kidnapper’s Shoes is a great book if you like the more thoughtful end of the psychological spectrum, to understand why someone might behave in to what most people would be an unthinkable way.
Having bought my copy of His Kidnapper’s Shoes in April 2014 this book fully qualified to be part of my Mount TBR Challenge 2017, being my thirty-third read.