This is not one of those tales where the hero seeks revenge on the heroine, falls in love with her and seeks redemption. Instead, the plot, which is a cracking good read, has elements of a thriller, although it does contain some sweet romance. The main focus of the novel is how a sociopathic man seeks revenge on his wife who leaves him after he subjects her to emotional and physical abuse.
In You Will Pay, Arena, a young South African woman, is married to Tom, a rich Australian. Tom likes to control every aspect of her life and Tom’s needs and desires come first. Arena is vulnerable, her confidence has been eroded, and she is far from her family, with a young baby to cope with and no means to support herself. When this abuse turns more physical and Tom actually hits her, she resolves to leave him. However she is shocked to find out that she is again pregnant and for a time is compelled to remain with him.
Once Arena’s baby girl is born the abuse intensifies and Arena carefully plots to safely escape Tom’s clutches and file for divorce, on grounds of abuse. The plan works and despite Tom’s chilling words that he will hurt her in such a way that she will never recover and she will suffer every day, she finds a modest apartment of her own and gets her life back. She makes friends, socialises and even finds a new man. Tom appears to have backed off and is cooperative over the split. Yet it all appears too easy…….
One day Arena finds herself in a nightmare situation and is again rendered powerless and vulnerable. She is sure that Tom is behind it, yet she has no proof. She suffers greatly for something she suspects that he is responsible for and must remain strong if she is to get her revenge and outwit a man who has all the cards stacked in his favour.
This tale contains violence, domestic and child abuse and I found it to be an intense read, with some really dark moments. However, there are scenes of hope, such as when Arena flees Tom and gets her life back together. There are also some moments of happiness and humour, from her relationship with the new man in her life, Bear, and from her new friend Soong. I liked the way Arena carefully plots and executes her escape, showing that she is a strong woman, despite Tom’s efforts to subjugate her. I was with her all the way through the dark times in the book and was satisfied with the outcome which is told in Eve Rabi’s unique and indomitable style!
Tom is a truly evil man and to elaborate any further on his deeds would ruin the story for those of you who want to read it. With the character of Tom, the author gets into the psyche of many abusers. Tom clearly relishes the control he wields over Arena and enjoys her pain, physical and emotional, a mark of a true sociopath. Bear, Arena’s new man, is an adorable character, who clearly loves her and shows it in some tender and romantic scenes. He has secrets of his own and it is those secrets that come into their own as the plot unravels. Soong, the young mother and Arena’s neighbour, also proves to be a loyal friend. Both Bear and Soong inject some humour and lightness into the plot.
Overall You Will Pay is an engrossing read, which I stayed up until the early hours to finish, holding my breath at the awesome ending. This read was a lot darker than Burn’s World and even Gringa, the other books I have read by the author. It contains what I am beginning to recognise as Eve Rabi’s trademarks: strong heroines who find the resources to cope with what life throws at them; characters and plots which stray into activities that are not always within the law and dark themes and (sometimes) humour. I recommend it to readers who enjoy an intense and unique emotional ride that will stay with you a long time after you have read it.
This book is currently free on Smashwords (click on the link) as it hasn’t been professionally edited as yet. Once it’s edited, the price will be $2.99.