Isolated on an frigid island, Albermarle Hall is a sanctum of depravity and the ideal setting for this shockingly cruel and intense story with superb writing. You'll find yourself shackled amidst the horrors of the enslaved man-boy, Finn, your sympathy for him holding you there, frozen in fear. You'll wonder how he was captured, how badly his next job will hurt him, and why his tormentor goes to such lengths to destroy him physically and emotionally. TM is a master at revealing back stories, sometimes with sneaky subtleness, but always sadistic in nature. The tribulations reach the darkest, deepest places. Places you might not know exist.The villains are inventive in their power to induce dread, rage, and paralyzing terror. The excessive rape and violence are graphic, beautifully disturbing, but in no way titillating. In fact, I would not label this erotic or romance, as those terms imply gratification and desire. Reading this stirred the same emotions in me as Jack Ketchum's horror novels. Sick curiosity.The body of this tale is harrowing, allowing little light and warmth to leak in. The sexual cruelty takes horror in an unpredictable direction, using psychological brutality to develop a friendship between an unlikely pair. From the slivers of blood-stained clothing and broken bones resurrects a courageous trust between the drug-addicted Finn and the guest-turned-prisoner painter, Lilith. This friendship is a fierce enough foundation to keep some of the chicken-hearted readers turning pages through the gory, topnotch tension.This vicious, well-crafted psychological thriller might leave you scarred, but it's the soul-deep characterization of Finn and Lilith that makes this book wholly unforgettable.