“I need You to help me like You always helped Jason. I need hope that I’m going to get out of this. I can’t do it by myself. I think he’s going to harm me or keep me here for ”¦” Jules cries in Rene Gutteridge’s book, Misery Loves Company. This three hundred and forty-nine page paperback tome is the author’s nineteenth novel. With no profanity but topics of kidnapping, murder, corruption and alcoholism, this Christian-based story would be targeted toward mature teenagers and adults who enjoy suspenseful, engaging fiction surrounding the realm of authors, writers and readers. Widowed Jules Belleno has shut out the world for the past two years after her policeman husband was shot down in the line of duty. As her Marine father drinks himself daily into a stupor, she feels more alone, despondent and restless. Insecure as a writer, her only outlet is blogging about book reviews and putting posts on Facebook about her mundane, unfulfilled, hopeless life. Her last blog posted is about her all-time favorite author, Patrick Reagan, and his recent book that brings her only disappointment. On the day of her wedding anniversary, she goes to the local grocery store to get ingredients to ritually make the favored special meal, planned to be consumed alone. When she haphazardly runs into the famed older writer who religiously holes up for the winter to write, they strike up a conversation as they exit the store. Yet she does not return home. Between drinking binges, Jules’s worried father asks Chris, his son-in-law’s past police partner, to look for his missing daughter as they both know something is amiss. The only link they find is that Jules and Patrick were at the store at the same time before she suddenly disappeared. Meanwhile, Jules awakes confused, alone and scared in an unfamiliar, cold and gloomy bedroom, forced to make decisions that will change her thinking of the past regarding Jason, her opinion of writing and her beliefs in God and those around her. As she battles despair and vulnerability, her confidence is challenged trying to quickly understand why her captor has become unpredictable and uncontrollable. In this fast, heart-pounding literary narrative, one not only sees how giving out too much information online or in print can alter and change viewpoints and opinions of others, it can lead to terrifying circumstances that unveil truths which require a dependence on a Superior Being. This book was furnished by Tyndale House Publishers for review purposes.
I hesitate to leave a negative review for a book about a blogger who gets kidnapped after leaving a harsh review. But nevertheless, I found this book to be confusing, lacking a clear flow of events. We jumped from event to event in no particular order. The kidnapper berates his victim, over-generalizing as he condemns her entire generation. The main character ends up with Stockholm Syndrome, even though it’s not called that in the book. Her kidnapper kidnapped her to get an honest appraisal of his worth as a person. The book is decent & engaging, but some parts are left unclear, strings were left untied,