About the Book
SHE’D DO ANYTHING FOR HER HUSBAND.
Julie has the perfect life.
A kind boyfriend, loving parents and good grades. She has everything ahead of her.
Cora’s life is a nightmare.
A psychopath for a husband, a violent father and a terrible secret. There’s no way out.
But one night, their worlds collide.
Locked in an isolated house together, they must work out what has happened – and who they can trust to set them free.
The Follower by Koethi Zan is a fast-paced thriller about two women brought together by a leader of a cult. One woman was a willing follower while the other one had been abducted. The story begins with this abduction. Julie is a regular girl enjoying her life when she is suddenly kidnapped and locked in a room by a sort of religious, demented couple.
The story focuses more on the two women than on the leader. Julie’s narrations are heart-wrenching. Her life as a prisoner is devastating and sometimes tough to read about. She goes through phases of acceptance and again the resolve to escape. Her narrations had my heart racing a couple of times wondering whether she would make it out alive or lose the fight in that cursed house. On the other hand, Cora’s narrations are given through two timelines. We get to see her life before the cult and after it. Through alternating chapters, the two women tell of the horrors of being in the cult especially with the leader. However, one is struggling while the other shifts between moments of doubts and content. A few chapters are narrated by the cultic leader.
Apart from the two women and the leader, there is a fourth narrator, Adam. He is a former police officer with lots of personal demons. Although, he doesn’t have badge anymore, Adam is carrying out his own investigation which brings him close to the two women. However, it is evident that something is not quite right with him. He is a bit obsessed with the case and not for the reasons that you would guess.
The four main characters are as different as can be. Adam has determination and the drive to solve the case. However, he is obsessed with it and it is heartbreaking to see the lengths that he went to solve it. His frustrations at every dead end made me share in his disappointments. I felt bad for him and really wanted him to succeed. I wasn’t so sure about his mental status though. Nevertheless, unhinged or not, he was brilliant. Julie is easily the most sympathetic character in the book. I can’t imagine what she went through in that cell. Being pulled away from her life and forced into the harrowing experience was tough on her. Cora is the most complex character of the four. I sympathized with her, hated her, pitied her and then went back to disliking her. Her background story and current circumstances make it hard to label her as either good or bad. As for the cultic leader, I just didn’t like him.
The story is mainly set in the house where Julie is being held captive. Only chapters with Adam and the flashbacks take place elsewhere. However, so much take places in that house. The relationship between the two women was so intense and full of drama. There are sections where I had to flip through the pages very fast to see if they would survive each other. The scenes in the house reminded me of an old movie, Panic Room. One house but so much craziness.
The Follower by Koethi Zan is a fast-paced psychological thriller. If you like this genre then this one may be for you. Although, the cult was mentioned, I didn’t feel like it was a major part of the story. However, it still provided a chilling background to the story hence adding to the tension through the chapters. The ending was definitely memorable and unpredictable. The cliffhanger makes me wonder if the author has plans for a second book or if she just decided to end it that way. Either way, the book is definitely worth checking out.