I Am The Sand is a work of fiction in the thriller, psychological drama, and suspense sub-genres, and was penned by author Susan Fuss. Written for adult reading audiences, the work does contain scenes of graphic violence, and a central theme of sexual violence which is portrayed realistically. Focusing on two people experiencing powerful PTSD which affects their identity, sanity, and inner strength, we find ourselves following both the story of victim Chloe Thomas, an abducted and abused schoolgirl, and her captor, former soldier Captain Henry Peters. As we explore Peters’ past and the reasons for his behavior, Chloe hatches a dynamic plan to get away, before all hope is lost.
Author Susan Fuss has crafted a tough but necessary read and one which will be sure to move fans of deeply-considered psychological fiction and stories of survival against the odds. One of the things which I really admired about the craftsmanship of the work was the portrayal of PTSD and its truly uncontrollable nature, perhaps especially on Captain Peters throughout the tale. Whilst the proposed antagonist of the piece is not given empathy for the crimes he commits against Chloe, there is still a humanized quality which makes his actions all the more terrifying, and asks important questions about getting more help for victims of abuse in the wider world. Overall, I Am The Sand is a powerful, emotive, and accomplished read which I would certainly recommend for those who want an insightful drama that will keep you thinking long after the book is closed.
Author Sue Fuss poignantly captures the intensity of traumatic experiences: both as trauma occurs, and in its aftermath. Her account of Chloe’s journey toward recovery is reflective of so many trauma survivors’ fight to reclaim and redefine themselves, the world and the people in it; it is powerfully accurate. Chloe’s battle to find the solace, safety and the hope that is needed to recover from what others cannot comprehend, reflects the reality that people recovering from trauma face.
The account of how Henry’s trauma experiences manifest themselves in such brutal, violent ways and how, he is lost to himself and others (or is it being robbed of himself by others?), his extreme dissociation and need to control others to feel safe, is sadly, also reflective of the minority of trauma survivors who do not master their trauma symptoms.
This book will indeed, ‘disturb the comfortable’ … but it will highlight why and how we should ‘comfort the disturbed’.
—Dr Ann O’Neill
Angelhands Founder, Lived Experience Expert, and Public Speaker
I Am The Sand is an intense and graphic psychological thriller with a unique perspective. The plotline pivots around the abduction of Chloe Thomas, while she was on her way home from school. From the reader’s distanced viewpoint we are not only given access to the investigation and Chloe’s fight to survive her capture and endure abusive treatment, we are also able to follow the captor and learn more about his public perception. From this outside perspective, we are also able to enjoy the author’s skill at characterisation, with vital side characters coming to the forefront of the story to add an extra twist.
This book is incredibly tense and there were times where my heart was racing for Chloe and I couldn’t get through the pages fast enough, at certain points shouting in frustration as hope ebbs away.
I also think that the author handles the topic of mental illness well in this book. I am usually hesitant when mental health is incorporated almost as an explanation of a villain’s behaviour, however I appreciated the work carried out by the author to present these themes in a different light, through Sarah’s perspective as well as providing more detail of an aftermath towards the end of the book.
I thought I Am The Sand was a highly gripping read and I would recommend it for anyone looking for a page-turning psychological thriller.
I Am The Sand by Susan Fuss is an intense psychological thriller following a girl named Chloe who has to muster the courage to escape from her deranged captor with an audacious plan.
Author Susan Fuss has created a uniquely intriguing character with Chloe. I appreciated the slow evolution and progression of her character throughout the book. She is definitely a fighter and had a strength that felt authentic because it grew organically throughout the story. I cheered for her throughout the story and was biting my nails for some of the more provocative scenes. Her struggle to hand onto her sanity through her captivation was one of the more humanizing aspects of the novel that allowed the story to explore the human condition through a unique perspective. This novel got me thinking that sometimes we are pawns, in life, in relationships, and we don’t even know it. This book also made me appreciate how resilient people can be in the face of adversity.
This is a captivating psychological thriller about the will and strength to survive. This is a fast paced character driven novel that delves into the roles of both captor and captive in some thought-provoking ways. The story can sometimes be devastatingly bleak, but what do you expect when you’re held captive by such a monster.
I Am The Sand is a roller-coaster of emotions. The story is consistently compelling and I really enjoyed the ending of the book. Author Susan Fuss has written a book that will shock you and keep you glued to every page.