Appetite for Innocence by Lucinda Berry (Audiobook)

Published: September 24, 2020

Dreamscape Media, LLC

Listening Length: 8 hours 59 minutes

Narrators: Taylor Meskimen and Em Eldridge

Genre: Crime Fiction

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I purchased this audiobook on Audible.

Dr. Lucinda Berry is a former clinical psychologist and leading researcher in childhood trauma. Now, she spends her days writing full-time, where she uses her clinical experience to blur the line between fiction and nonfiction. She enjoys taking her readers on a journey through the dark recesses of the human psyche. Her work has been optioned for film and translated into multiple languages. If Berry isn’t chasing after her son, you can find her running through Los Angeles, prepping for her next.

Be careful what you post online. Your next check-in might lead him right to you…

A serial rapist is kidnapping teenage girls. But he’s not interested in just any teenage girls—only virgins. He hunts them by following their status updates and check-ins on social media. Once he’s captured them, they’re locked away in his sound-proof basement until they’re groomed and ready. He throws them away like pieces of trash after he’s stolen their innocence. Nobody escapes alive.

Until Ella.

Ella risks it all to escape, setting herself and the other girls free. But only Sarah—the girl whose been captive the longest—gets out with her. The girls are hospitalized and surrounded by FBI agents who will stop at nothing to find the man responsible. Ella and Sarah are the key to their investigation, but Sarah’s hiding something and it isn’t long before Ella discovers her nightmare is far from over.

“Nobody can hear you if you scream.”

Ella was a pretty average teenager; she had a good group of friends, did well in school, and was a promising track star. Until she is taken, now, she has to play a deadly game of cat and mouse with the sadistic John to survive. Sarah is no help, either. She works with John. So now Ella is all alone, terrified, and in the race of a lifetime.

Whew. Even though I know Lucinda Berry will give me whiplash, I’m never prepared. I will start with a trigger warning. There is content in this novel that may trigger certain individuals, so proceed with caution.

Ella is your typical teenager; she goes to school, runs track, and is a terrific kid. She doesn’t give her mom, Jocelyn, any reason to worry. Ella is smart, and she has more skills than she ever realized.

Sarah was a complicated character for me. On the one hand, she is absolutely a victim and deserves nothing but love and warmth forever. On the other hand, she is jealous and manipulative. But I also understand why she is that way. I struggled to like her, and in the end, I realized I didn’t.

Jocelyn was another complicated character for me. I know she loves her daughter and truly wants to help her… but when she decided to do the things she did, without considering Ella or listening to the victim’s advocate- I wanted to slap her.

I enjoyed how this story was told. The alternating timelines and narrators were well done. I love how Berry presents multiple sides of a story simultaneously through different lenses.

The character development was good, and the storyline moved at a decent pace. The fear of the unknown, while scary, is nothing compared to the fear of the known. Berry delivered a terrifying story, with the underlying fact that things like this couple (and do) happen.

Monsters are real, and they do not always look like monsters. Berry delivered another stellar thriller that will elevate your heart rate, make you sleep with the light on, and change how you look at everything.

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