Alright, so I had to read Doll House after I read The Tracker (Review here). Very quickly here’s the gist – Olivia gets abducted within hours of her moving into her college dorm. After five years, her father gets a phone call and he hears his little girl’s voice on the other side. And so the story unfolds.
Olivia was raised by a single parent. Her father, Harry, has been the best parent he could be. He does have mixed feelings about his only child leaving the nest. He helps Olivia pack up and go to college. He helps her settle into her dorm and leaves Olivia to her new life. After unpacking, Olivia ventures out and on the way is abducted. A man wearing a gorilla mask grabs her into a van while another drives. The destination is a house and in its basement the room where she will spend the next five years of her life. After Olivia goes missing, her father slowly becomes alcoholic. And it is in one of his alcohol-induced quite times that she calls him for help.
Olivia, after being abducted, is dumped into a room decorated in pink. Everything, everywhere is pink. As the Gorilla begins his attempt to rape her, she resists and gets a toe cut off with garden shears. This book, Doll House, is really not for the faint-hearted. There’s rape, mutilation and cannibalism and a hint of necrophilia. Through the five years, she loses a lot. Including some of her fingers, toes and an ear. She is abused and raped repeatedly by the Gorilla, while the Jackal stands by and watches. Later after the Gorilla is done, the Jackal cleans her up. He even paints her toenails and braids her hair.
Once the Gorilla comes by alone. Olivia musters up the strength and kills him. As she climbs out of her pink prison, she also releases two other girls from similar prisons. Returning to normal life is difficult for the three girls. And for a man used to having these girls at his disposal, the Jackal is desperate to have them back. Especially Olivia who was his favourite. The book then follows the desperation and trials of all the characters – that of the girls as the fit into normal life, the family’s as they have their loved ones back, the cops as they try to find the Jackal, and the Jackal’s as he tries to get the girls back in their cells. The ending reveals who the Jackal is and it was a surprise indeed. But somehow I felt the end was a bit lacklustre when compared to the other portions of the book. It felt too hurried and abrupt.
This book was a very quick read, took me only a few hours from start to finish. It was an easy read and unputdownable. Of course, there may be those who have second thoughts about the content, it does have a few triggers after all. And if you are squeamish, choose wisely. I did not find this too grotesque and the thrill of reading was more. I must say that John Hunt is doing a good job with this genre. I look forward to more of his work.
You can find a copy of Doll House here – Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Blackrose
Doll House by John Hunt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars