17 Black and 29 Red by Richard Rider

17 Black and 29 Red (Stockholm Syndrome, #2) - Richard Rider

The main reason why I dropped the rating on the second installment in the series is because I felt Valentine and Lindsay were selfish.

Not only did they hurt themselves with a 4 year separation but they also hurt those around them or the ones they chose to get involved with. And yes, I also dropped the rating because in my mind they were still a couple and I viewed their actions as cheating. I'm not saying it needs to make sense, that's just how I felt. So 3 stars.


Both Valentine and Lindsay chose to go their separate way and both had one night stands as well as tried to be involved in a serious relationship. Irrationally, again, I despised Lindsay more for his adventures than I did Valentine. Perhaps it was because he chose to go back to Elsie, after having been involved with her some 20 years back, after she had been the wife of his best friend, after he had slept with her right after the funeral (and that had been one of the reasons why he and Valentine broke up). I felt it as a double betrayal.


Yes, Lindsay and Valentine's relationship doesn't make sense. It's abusive, violent, depraved and filled with dark sexual desire. And yet, they are incomplete when apart. It might be that their time spent together ruined them for anyone else... they pushed their own boundaries and cannot find comfort trying it with another. Or it might be that Valentine's brand of insanity, degradation, co-dependent behaviour is best matched with Lindsay's and vice versa.


It's not a pretty tale. Albeit both manage to survive the break-up and have a go at a simulacrum life, there is always a dark shadow over their attempts, a memory of their previous life that just won't fade away, expectations that are not met. And as surprising as their separation was, their reunion is the same. I was a bit taken aback to see that 4 years was enough to bury all the resentment and negative emotions they each had, enough to smoothly slide back in a relationship.

(show spoiler)

I guess I'll have to see if the third books answers that question.