Thriller reveals the psychological grip that abusers have on their victims that makes leaving more scary than staying. Kate Crandall, the survivor of her husband’s years of abuse, discovers how quickly he can regain control even after her escape. If you have asked “Why doesn’t she just leave?” read this book to get your answer.
Come and Get Me is released by author Maryellen Hess
After two years in prison Ben Rice is ready to re-unite with his wife Kate. Their divorce means nothing. He owns her, and always will. A crippling knee injury ended Kate’s dreams to play professional tennis. Suddenly her world expanded beyond a clay court’s boundaries, leaving her adrift. By pure chance she met Ben in the hospital atrium one day. Under his hand the budding trees and bright flowers pushed away the grayness she felt.
Ben himself was handsome, attentive and full of charm. After a whirlwind courtship they eloped. On their wedding night Kate’s naive fantasies of romance turned quickly to a nightmare. Her new husband hits her even before he makes love to her.
Kate’s marriage buried her for years. One especially brutal night finally cracks the layers of shame and hopelessness. For her own life and that of their small daughter, Kate’s testimony to years of abuse put Ben in prison. Over time she rebuilt her life and her dignity. Kate and Emma settled into a comforting routine of work days, bedtime stories and Saturday morning cartoons.
Kate learns of Ben’s release only after he abducts Emma. Kate frantically tries, and fails, to find them. She expects his call, but not Ben’s wistful talk about their first weeks together. He reminds Kate of gentle afternoons when they sat together in the hospital atrium, listening to water trickling from a nearby fountain. That memory began a game of come and get me, where Ben knew the rules and Kate would have to play by them. To get Emma, Kate would have to follow Ben.
Despite her confusion about what to do next, Kate has no intention of calling the police. Ben would know. Somehow he would know.
Detective Jeffrey Stone hears Ben Rice’s name on the scanner. He never forgot Ben’s name, nor the mental images Kate’s injuries. As he learns the few facts available Stone is drawn into the explosive situation.
No one, not even Stone, can protect Kate from her past. Inevitably she succumbs to the rules of Ben’s game. That is when Ben makes one final and inexplicable demand. Blindly Kate must make a choice that could end in horror, or that will renew her own will to survive.
Although Come and Get Me is a fictional story, its heroine puts a human face on “the very real psychological descent that binds victims to their abusers,” the author writes. Kate’s story is the voice of women driven nearly to the breaking point. It draws on real-life stories of people affected by the violence around them and against them. Ben’s path of mayhem and destruction as he draws Kate into his game will keep readers hooked until the final conclusion. Author Maryellen Hess has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina and a Master’s degree in Public Administration. She serves as Executive Director of a social service agency that helps people with histories of severe emotional, physical or sexual abuse. She lives in Canton, Ohio, with her husband and their blended family of five children.
Come and Get Me
Dog Ear Publishing
Available at Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Amazon.com, and Barnes & Noble.