Skimmed most of it, and was disappointed that it was strictly the victim's experience and there was nothing, not even speculation, about how the kidnapper came to be the kind of person who would do that, and what his above-ground life was like. We got almost nothing of the latter, actually.
Not the book's fault, I suppose, but just a case of my expectations being out of synch with what the author was providing. But I would think that any account of such a crime would include some info of substance about the criminal. We heard the victim's initial impression of him as paranoid, and we know a tiny bit about his relationship with his mother and with his best friend, but these provides less than the bare minimum I expected.
So I guess reading this has helped me understand that my fascination with these situations has to do with the psychology of the perpetrator, more than the psychology of the victim, although the author here did a very good job, I thought, helping the reader understand how difficult it is for a victim who is so entirely under the thumb of such a human predator to get away even when an opportunity presents itself, and how difficult it is when public opinion then turns against the victim because she continues to see her jailor as a human being, rather than a monster.
The terrifying thing in all these cases is that if the imprisoner gets hit by a bus, the victim will die. That powerlessness surely must be part of what the perpetrator is after. This case was even more terrifying, as it was so clear that no rescuers could possibly have found her (although there were tipoffs about the guy, which the police ignored! This was mentioned twice but not emphasized; if I were Natascha Kampusch, I would have been more vocal about that!). It took the guy an hour to undo all the doors and locks; getting to the dungeon started with moving a piece of furniture to find a safe behind it, then unscrewing the safe from the wall(!) to get to the first door. Part of the route was a tunnel you had to go through on hands and knees. Amazing.
But the writing... Well, it did get a bit better as it went on, but...well, you certainly couldn't call it well-written. (Where was the editor??)
posted 12 months ago. ( permalink )