Review: Killing Pace by Douglas Schofield

by Kristin Centorcelli

Killing Pace by Douglas Schofield is a high-octane, heart-pounding tale set in Everglades City, Florida, and Sicily, Italy, with three important questions: Where am I? … How did I get here? … and most importantly … Who am I?

Lisa Green has amnesia. Her “boyfriend” Roland, insists that he’s protecting her in the remote Florida Everglades cabin where she’s locked in most of the time.

He’d told her they’d been together for three years, that they’d planned to get married before everything went to hell. A little over a year ago, he said, she’d had her first spell. She lost her memory, didn’t know her own name, didn’t remember him. Then her memory came back. Then it happened again, and it lasted a little longer. “Ya’d lose your memory,” he said, “and then it’d come back, then go again. Really crazy. The docs said you was mental, wanted to put ya in the nuthouse. Couldn’t let ’em do that, so I brought ya out here.”

Lisa didn’t know what to make of it. Whenever she stared at her image in the black-streaked mirror above the sink in the cabin’s grimy bathroom, she’d get a prickly feeling that a stranger was staring back.

Someone she couldn’t quite bring into focus.

And then there was the other thing.

As Roland led her to the truck, grumbling because he wouldn’t be able to stop for a beer at Joanie’s diner, his iron grip on her hand reminded her of that other thing.

Reminded her that sometimes sex with him could get a bit rough. He would zone out … almost like, in his mind, he was just getting a quick screw from a hooker, not making love to the fiancée he had saved from an asylum.

And then there was that last time, two weeks ago.

They were on the cot in the safe room. He was on top of her, pounding away, when something snapped in her head and she’d starting fighting back and he’d smacked her. Hard.

It had only happened that one time.

But it had happened.

He’d smacked her and something inside her head had commanded her to fight back, to make him pay for that humiliating blow. But self-preservation told her she simply owed him too much, that she’d be completely lost without him, so she’d suppressed the urge.

Lisa has slowly come to the realization that she’s a prisoner, and after convincing Roland to let her go on a supply run with him, she hatches a plan to escape. And escape she does. Her memory is coming back, including the car crash two months ago that preceded her kidnapping. Turns out Roland was hired to dispose of her but decided to “keep” her for a while instead. If that’s not bad enough, the events leading up to her capture and imprisonment are pretty shocking too.

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