Please note that this book is not YA and it does have adult content.
Summary: On June 25, 1998, Anita Wooldridge was taken from her parents' home in broad daylight by a convicted rapist. For eight terrifying days, Anita was savagely beaten and raped by her captor, who locked her in a metal storage cabinet for hours at a time. With only a steadfast faith in God to comfort her, Anita refused to give up hope that she would be found.
Eight Days in Darkness chronicles the shocking events of Anita's kidnapping, including her transport across state lines, and the impressive efforts of local authorities and FBI agents which led to her rescue and the dramatic capture and conviction of her abductor. Anita's story is still used today as a case study for prospective FBI agents, and Eight Days in Darkness paints a portrait of the real-life battle between good and evil.
-Summary from Amazon
It's really difficult to review this book because of the subject matter. I'm reluctant to say it's a "good book" because of what it's about, a story about kidnap and rape is anything but "good"... it's heartbreaking and emotional and despite its size, it's a really fast paced and quick read and I would recommend it.
It's told in alternating points of view, switching effortlessly between the perspective of Anita, her kidnapper and the team of police officers that are trying to find her. I loved that aspect of the book, Anita's and her kidnappers chapters were often difficult to read because it was so shocking and awful reading what Anita had to go through and it made me so angry reading Tom's point of view, but the chapters telling her rescuers' side of the story is kind of like a light amongst all the darkness and gave me hope and reminded me that the hell she was going through wouldn't last forever because there were people working hard to find her.
I'm Agnostic, while most of the characters -- Anita and the police officers and her family -- were religious and normally that being brought into a story a lot would irritate me, but the fact this was a true story and this stuff actually happened made that aspect of it kind of inspiring... these people are real, they're not just characters and their faith helped them through this devastating thing. It almost makes me wish I believed in a set religion.
I've always had a morbid fascination with reading about real life crimes, even though they shock and horrify me, it stuns me to see the things that human beings are capable of doing to each other but on the flip side of the coin, in those darkest times the good in people shines through the brightest too.
That was definitely true for this book, it told Anita's story and the hell she had to go through -- sometimes in shocking detail -- but when I finished reading it, I didn't feel like I'd just read a real life horror story, the part that stuck with me was that she got through it.
Her ending wasn't happy, per say, because something like that leaves emotional scars and she had to deal with other things (I won't go into detail about that, you'll have to read the book for more info on the aftermath and trial and things) but she got to see her family and friends again and got away from her captor, she didn't die by his hand or have to endure anymore physical torture from him, he took a lot from her but he didn't completely take her future from her.
The part of the book affected me most of all was when they finally found her, it actually managed to make me cry and not a lot of books manage that (and I'm talking more than just a few tears, I was crying for about 20 minutes while I finished the rest of the book) and I was really surprised by that because I tried to read the rest of the book as detached as I could be because it made it easier to read what she had to go through but then when they found her I just got this flood of emotion and felt almost like I was right there with her rescuers, feeling what they were feeling in that moment.
Sorry if this review is a little scattered, it's just really difficult to review and talk about a story like this, especially considering it's a true story... it gives me a massive amount of respect for Anita and the fact that she was brave enough to share her story.