Mind Me, Milady by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Ken Hicks – A Review
Rating – 4/5
Date of Publication : March, 2017
This was my first thriller by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks and the book proved to be an engrossing read with the perfect mix of thriller, plot and panic. Reading about the husband-wife writing team, I realized that they are veteran writers with a repertoire of work ranging from mainstream to fantasy. Their talent is easily visible through the language, character formation and the foolproof plot of this thriller.
Jane Larsson is an attorney in the Upper East Side of New York City who has temporarily taken an absence from her firm to wrap up the clients of her late mother Martha, an attorney supporting under-privileged clientele. Along with Martha’s clientele, Jane is also receiving messages from a serial rapist nick-named “The Gentleman Rapist” who contacts Jane after each crime to taunt her with his superiority and warning her that she would be his next victim. Apart from her professional and personal struggles, Jane has taken under her wing a young woman named Susan who has no recollection of her past but has sudden visions leaving her debilitated. To add more mystery, the visions of Susan place her as a servant girl in New York hundreds of years in the past. Will Jane be able to come unscathed from the wrath of the manic criminal, untangle the complexities of her professional and personal life and make sense of Susan’s visions? Read to find out more…
The book starts off at a menacing tone with The Gentleman Rapist in action and setting the ball rolling for the events to unfold. The character of Jane Larsson is portrayed as an independent, passionate and caring young woman with a sense of righteousness. All the characters portrayed in the book ranging from the strong Jane to the meek Susan are extremely detailed and unique. The characters undergo ethical and moral dilemmas in their line of work and have been portrayed very realistically. The intensity of the writing also drew me to the story of Madame Rosa, a gypsy woman, and the events surrounding her. The events relating to Madame Rosa and Susan are written with such frenzy and energy such that it can unsettle the readers. Though some of the characters are stereotypes, I did not take offence in this as I feel that it was necessary to keep it so to confuse the readers about the characters’ intentions.
Susan is an interesting character about whose past was mainly kept in the dark. Although the authors have tried to weave a thread of mystery with Susan’s recollections of a city that was dead and buried, it might be easy for the readers to see through all the confusion and make sense of her past. This does not mean that her story was uninteresting. All credits are to be given to the authors to make a predictable story-line in the mystery fascinating with enough twists in the plot. To be honest, I was more drawn to Susan’s story line to pay any attention to The Gentleman Rapist. I felt the use of his signature line “Mind Me, Milady” as cheesy rather than creepy. The psychological profiling of the rapist is done intricately with his ego depicted through the minor snippets of conversation that Jane has with this man. Some parts of the plot regarding The Gentleman Rapist were predictable but again the authors had the last laugh by twisting the plot and cleverly placing distractions and smokescreens to cover the identity of the perpetrator.
Overall, it is an interesting read with multiple threads running through a single novel which gets connected smoothly at the end. The language is good with fast paced writing and excellent characters who are sophisticated and complex. There are enough elements in the story to keep the attention of the readers from dwindling. A very enjoyable read indeed!