Heartbreaker by Thomas Duffy

Amber Robertson has a problem. A very big one.

She’s handcuffed to the bed of a man she mistakenly thought just wanted to spend time with her. She can’t scream for help — no one will hear her. And she can’t run away. He is always between her and the door, even when she’s not handcuffed, which is hardly ever.

No, she’s stuck, until she learns all the “lessons” he says he wants to teach her. Oh, and then there’s the sex he demands now and then.

How did she get in this predicament? She was just trying to make enough money to pay the rent in her crummy basement apartment, working at a Brooklyn Target department store, when she got the idea to become an “escort.”

She thought it would be easy money. Now, perhaps a bit too late, she sees the error of her ways.

In this unique book about one girl’s struggle to find her path in life, author Thomas Duffy explores Amber’s problematic past as a troubled teen who used sex as a way to be liked. Kicked out by her parents, she moved to New York, hoping for a fresh start.

What she got instead was a continuation of the self-degrading behavior that keeps landing her in dysfunctional relationships.

It’s a fascinating read that follows Amber’s release from the weirdly empathetic kidnapper with a fetish for handcuffs to a chance meeting with a guy in a pizzeria.

Amber’s internal demons continue to dog her, however, into the ensuing relationship with Jeffrey, the man from the pizzeria. And, the dramatic denouement sees Amber caught in a web of her own devising.

Four stars to this startling piece of fiction, which takes the reader deep inside the damaged minds of the main characters and offers fresh insights into the motivations behind their often bizarre actions.

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