(No Series)

"It was a kidnapping, but in all the wrong ways. No ransom, no demands; there was nothing they wanted--other than to observe."

When Blake Crochet and his family are taken hostage in their own home, they are forced to act out their everyday lives under the observance of two psychotic kidnappers. Each moment Blake must pit the decision to follow their captors' rules against the potential catastrophe of a failed escape.

He soon learns that the consequences of both action and inaction are more terrifying than he imagined. As Blake's life erodes beneath him, secrets come to light that threaten to destroy his family before their kidnappers have a chance.

Secrets carry consequences too.

As the motives behind the kidnapping are revealed, Blake must sacrifice everything to hold on to the ever-shifting definition of what his family has become. In his battle for survival, he will face the ultimate consequence: for to fight a devil, you may have to become one yourself.

Thrillers can be a dime a dozen. I’ve read so many over the years that I hesitate half the time to start a new one, fearing it will be the same old rehash as the last one. Housebroken looked different enough to be promising, holding something fresh and twisted, so I hopped on it with hope, and let me say that I’m glad I did, because I haven’t read anything quite like this one.

It almost feels like a lifetime is covered in this novel, so much happens in so little time, yet it doesn’t quite cross the boundary of being overwhelming. So, pacing? A big thumbs-up.

Even though the plot is event filled, it’s a character driven book as it focuses more on psychological torment and jabbing than anything else. Blake is a …strange lead. I liked him well enough at first, even if he didn’t stand out in any unique light, but for some reason ended up turning against him later. There’s just something weak and unlikable about the man. There’s no telling what tragedy and stress will bring out of people, but with him it was always there, just shown more clearly when faced in these situations.

Adam interested me the most out of the family of victims. He had enough about him that was different to keep from being too mainstream, his edginess helped push the story forward as they battled their captors. All three had strong personalities but with their own focuses – Blake’s was his drive in business and his intellect, his capacity for technology and advancement; Jenna’s seems to be her motivation to ignore the bad to survive the present, to come out on top somehow and someway; Adam just left me fascinated as he didn’t always act the way most would.

Overall this was a great book that was hard to put down and, despite all that was happening, the pace kept up with the busy story. The family goes through hell as the blazing violent psychos go as far as they threaten to go when rules are broken. Several surprising twists in store for the family kept me on my toes, and there are mysteries here that the reader doesn’t even know are supposed to be mysteries until later on.

I would have thrown in the five star rating, but I wasn’t completely happy with the very ending. Small squabbles aside, this book is highly recommended.

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