The Puppet Master by Abigail Osborne
Manipulated by fear and love...could you cut the strings and take back control? Billie’s hiding from the world, believing it to be the only way to take control of her life as she lives in fear of the man who nearly destroyed her. But what she doesn’t realise is that she’s exactly where he wants her; isolated and afraid. A chance meeting with budding journalist Adam sparks a relationship that could free her from the terror that controls her. But will Adam be able to see the real Billie buried under her terror and pain? Adam knows exactly who Billie is and is determined to expose her and get justice for the lives she ruined. But first, he needs to convince her to open up to him but as unwanted attraction and feelings blossom between them, Adam is forced to realise that all is not as it seems. Most of their lives have been unknowingly governed by the desires and needs of someone who considers himself their master. He has influenced and shaped them for years, meticulously weaving a web of lies and control around them. Can Billie and Adam survive the betrayals in store and cut the strings that bind them? One thing is for sure. The master wants his puppets back – and he’ll do anything to keep them.
The Puppet Master was a well constructed plot with alternating POV from Billie the woman who has escaped a lifetime of abuse and lives in fear of her abuser finding her, and Adam a journalist that breaks down the protective barriers that she has around her to win her affection, whilst secretly wanting to expose her as a liar that has ruined the life of his beloved uncle who was accused of abusing Billie. The narrative takes both of these characters back to their unconnected childhoods which takes us through the effect that Eric (The Puppet Master) had on the lives of Billie and Adam. Wonderful debut novel, and I will certainly add Abigail Osborne to my list of authors to watch out for.