Elsa Cavalon and Marin Quinn are two mothers who don't know each other personally, yet share a common bond: Jeremy, the son Marin gave up and who Elsa adopted. But then young Jeremy is kidnapped and ultimately murdered, a horror that both women must carry with them for the rest of their lives. They want nothing more than to put this tragedy behind them, but when someone starts stalking the Cavalon family's new child, Renny, as well as playing mind games with the Quinn family, both women start to imagine the worst: That the past is going to repeat itself. Can they get the help they need and save their daughter's lives before it is too late?
Scared to Death by Wendy Corsi Staub was a gripping, intense novel I could hardly put down. Filled with action, suspense and creepy antagonists, this story had me turning the pages to find out what happens next. This story explores the victim mentality of what happens to a child snatched away from his family and the trauma the mother goes through as she must live with the unthinkable.
As a parent myself, I could understand how living with such a tragedy could turn a parent's life upside down. As Elsa tells Brett at one point, "Grief does terrible things to a person." In some way, however, we have a choice on what to do with our grief. We can choose to go mad, as Elsa did at one point before she found the strength to foster another child, or we can choose to allow our grief to turn us into a pill-popper, as it does to Marin. These women try to make sense of their world all over again, but when the nightmare returns, they struggle to keep their grasp on reality even as the past comes back at full swing. It is too much for Marin at one point, in fact, as she ends up mistaking her daughter, Anne, for her lost son, Jeremy.
While both women are being tormented by someone intent to kill everyone who seemingly "betrayed" him, as well as anyone else who stands in his way, they start to wonder how anything could even be real. Elsa's husband, Brett, worries that Elsa is having a relapse, and Elsa, who survived acute stress disorder, starts to wonder if she's imagining things. "Is any of it real?" she asks herself. And, later, she admits to Brett: "I'm starting to wonder if I might not just be ... paranoid." Nevertheless, the little things happening all around them forces them to finally realize one thing: What is happening is very real. And if they don't accept that sooner instead of later, their little girl will be dead.
Scared to Death was a scary story to read and I enjoyed this book immensely.
Elsa Cavalon—petrified that the nightmare from fifteen years earlier is beginning all over again . . .
Marin Quinn—hiding with her daughters in their concrete fortress, her storybook marriage over . . .
Perfect strangers whose once-perfect lives were cruelly shattered, they're bound by a long-lost child, a fragile strand of newfound maternal hope—and mutual loneliness. Yet Elsa and Marin are never truly alone. Someone is always nearby, watching them and their children. Someone driven by vengeance and the simple poetry of nursery rhymes . . . Someone who must satisfy a dark need with innocent blood. And now time is running out for two mothers stalked by a cunning mastermind who wants to leave them . . .
Scared to death