Against Their Will

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A book review of Against Their Will: Sadistic Kidnappers and the Courageous Stories of Their Innocent Victims by Nigel Cawthorne

A book review of Against Their Will: Sadistic Kidnappers and the Courageous Stories of Their Innocent Victims by Nigel Cawthorne

Stars: *****

Ulysses Press (2012)
True Crime
400 pages

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Summary: True stories of twisted criminals who hold their victims in endless captivity to satisfy their perverse desires, Against Their Will is a comprehensive compendium of the most disturbing kidnappings of all time.
Jaycee Lee Dugard — lived to tell the tale of her 18 years of captivity in paroled rapist Phillip Garrido’s suburban backyard
Elizabeth Smart — bravely held on for 9 long months in a forced marriage to religious fanatic Brian David Mitchell, who repeatedly raped her in the name of God
Elisabeth Fritzl — amazingly overcame 24 years trapped in a basement dungeon built especially for her by her father, Josef
Colleen Stan — heroically endured 7 years as a sex slave, brutally tortured with the full consent of her captor’s wife
Tina Marie Risico — escaped certain death at the hands of a killer by being an unwilling accomplice in other

Against Their Will

TRIGGER WARNING: This book is HARD to read because of the descriptions of sexual, physical and mental abuse and torture of the survivors, most of whom were children when this happened. This book is not for the faint of heart. If you survived a similar trauma, I don’t know that you’d want to read this.

That said, this is a 5 star book because it does a good job of reporting on horrible crimes. Nothing is left out. Nothing is glossed over. It’s RAW and shocking and disgusting. However you have to understand what they went through to really appreciate how they overcame their captors. Also it was intriguing and shocking also to see how the captors saw themselves. Some knew what they were doing and admitted to it in the end. Some sincerely thought they did no wrong. I’m not sure how that’s possible.

I was literally glued to this book. I couldn’t put it down. Many of the kids in this book eventually wrote a book about their experiences. So after reading this book, you can look at the bibliography to find out about their books if you want to know more. One last thing that I found shocking, a few of the captive kids had access to TV and actually saw other kids from this same book after they escaped or were found on TV. The still captive kids used the freed kid’s story as hope for themselves.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.