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Tuesday 13 December 2016

Paradise Prison by Faith Mortimer

Hold on to your hats, Mortimer fans. You’ll be blown away by this one. 

This author never disappoints, but Paradise Prison is, in my view, jostling for position as one of her best.

Gillian flees the UK after a serious altercation with her abusive boyfriend ends very badly. Stopping over in Portugal, she manages to secure herself a passage to the Caribbean on a yacht owned by Harry. A wealthy man who passes his time cruising round the Caribbean ocean in not-so-legal activities, but he reckons a cook and crew will jolly up his travels. It all starts smoothly enough, and he suggests Gill stay on his little ‘one-man’ island looking after his house…just until she feels confident enough to rejoin civilisation and face the consequences of an argument gone wrong. At least, that’s what he tells her. But when history starts to repeat itself, Gillian realises that she has to escape the island and from Harry as soon as she can.

You couldn’t have two more opposite characters. And that’s what makes this story so very powerful. Harry is an insidiously loathsome vile character. Any uncertainty about Gill being a slightly downtrodden, nervous victim soon changes as she becomes resourceful, confident, focussed and determined. Her transformation is amazing.

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