"Perilous" starts out innocently enough: a 15-year-old meets a group of friends at the shopping mall for the birthday of one of the girls. They browse the shops and then sit down to have a pizza together. Later, they wait outside the mall for the mother of one of them to pick them up.
So far, so mundane.
But then, the mother they are waiting for does not arrive; all the customers and staff leave the mall, darkness descends, no security guards are to be seen, and while the girls are still unsure about what to do next (strangely enough, not one of them have their mobile phones on them - the only thing I found a bit difficult to believe, especially since earlier, the other girls ring one from the group to remind her about their appointment), a dark van pulls up at one of the security doors to the mall, and the girls - well concealed in the darkness and keeping quiet - witness what very obviously is a robbery.
From then on, things happen very fast: They try to call the police from a payphone while one of them is supposed to keep watch; the watch is spotted, and next thing they know, all four girls find themselves kidnapped in the back of the van.
An action-packed, fast-paced story unfolds, with the girls escaping, being captured again, escaping again, finding unexpected help, but also finding unexpected traps along the way, until the girls (and the reader) can not be sure whom to trust anymore.
One of them is killed, one of them ends up pregnant, one of them apparently sees the entire thing as one big adventure, and one of them finds out something about her father that sets her entire world upside down.
I am not going to tell you more about "Perilous" - you should really find out for yourself, if I managed to capture your interest.
"Altercation" picks up where "Perilous" left, and if you are anything like me, you will really want to read the sequel and find out how things go for the girls.
They learn a bit more about the circumstances that led to them being kidnapped, but it takes almost the entire book for one of them to really understand what has been going on and why their kidnapper was so desperate in not letting them escape again.
As in the first book, the girls' trust is betrayed again, but help is on the way, coming from more than one direction.
The tender threads of a beginning lovestory are explored a bit further, a second lovestory is credibly woven into the plot, and although not all ends well for everyone, the outlook is hopefull for the girls who had to endure so much.
Most of the time, I found the way the characters acted and reacted very credible. I also appreciated the fact that not everything was instantly well the moment the girls were rescued, but that they had to fight with the effects of their ordeal for a long time afterwards, and it also influenced their families in a realistic way.
On her Amazon page, the author says about herself:
I live in Arkansas with my husband and three children, two crazy boys and one pretty little princess. I used to spend a lot of time writing until I had a baby and discovered Facebook. Now you'll often find me on there pretending to have a social life.
You can find out more about what I'm writing and catch deleted scenes from my books on my blog at http://tamarahartheiner.blogspot.com.
I love hearing from readers! Feel free to start a discussion or leave a comment!
So, can you guess where I am going to go next? :-)