Perfect Victim: The True Story of "The Girl in the Box"
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Perfect Victim: The True Story of "The Girl in the Box"

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  2,139 ratings  ·  113 reviews
Called the "sex slave," and "the girl in the box" case, this is the story behind Colleen Stan's terrifying, seven-year-long imprisonment by Cameron Hooker as told by the district attorney who tried the case. Too bizarre to be anything but true, it is a tale of riveting intensity and gripping courtroom drama. 8 page photo insert. Soon to be a TV miniseries. HC: Arbor House.
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published July 1st 1989 by Dell (first published July 1st 1981)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Perfect Victim, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Perfect Victim

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I know the Victim (Colleen) personally.
one of my sons and her daughter were best friends in 8th grade.
I haven't seen her in the past couple years.
Colleen gave me this book to read when we first became friends.
It is written by her attorney and Colleen makes nothing from the book.
She always felt the attorney victimized her also.

This book is a sad true crime story about hitchhiking that lead to brainwashing and being held in a box for 7 years.
But thru it all Colleen survived and thats what's amazin...more
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
A book I read over 15 years ago and remember in such detail. Probably why even the idea of reading ’50 Shades Of Grey’ makes me queasy, this story definitely de-romanticizes the S&M scene. What amazed me more than the victim’s attachment to her kidnapper was his wife’s collaboration in keeping her captive all those years.
Well researched, thorough without being excessively graphic, I appreciated its focus not just on the crime but also on the court-room proceedings. The stuff of nightmares…
Kena Kump
One word to sum up this book is INTENSE. The author speaks in 3rd person, so it almost feels that Colleen Stan (the survivor) is truly the victim she is. NO detail is left unnoticed, and you are thrust into Colleen's hellish world of abuse and confinement. I couldn't put it down, and I first saw this segment on a episode of "wicked attraction." Reading the book gave me even more of a background and took me deeper into the story. ONe part I didn't like, however, was all the court info, told from...more
I read this book in my early 20s. I am now nearly fifty. Still on of the most moving novels ever written. The author spared no detail. And the horror of the whole scenario keeps you captured on every page. It is definitely not a book for the faint at heart. I had no idea that such cruelty existed.
Just a horrific nightmare of a true crime story describing in detail (minus the smut) the kidnapping of twenty year old Colleen Stan. Such a tower of strength CS was to endure her captivity for 7 long years locked in a coffin-like box the majority of it, not to mention the pain she sustained from the on-going physical abuse, the humiliation of being unclothed, fear of dehydration, heat exhaustion, starvation and ultimately being treated like a slave. While not a pleasant read, the courtroom dram...more
4 stars because I read this book over 15 years ago and I still remember it clearly. Horrifying.
Felicia A
Another book about horrors in someone's life that I just cannot rate with stars. I don't know how these women endure the horrors and pain that they are subjected to by psychopaths and still live to tell about it.

Trashy non-fiction read. Kidnapped sex slave kept in a box under a water bed for 7 years. Like whoa. Good for October.
read this some time ago in paperback.. unbelievable glad she got out
Sherry Celaya
Unbelievable stuff

This story was incredible. In addition to the basic story of kidnapping and horrible abuse for 7 years, the court proceedings kept the reader riveted to their seats. A case so "open and shut" became a strategic maneuver between both the prosecution and the defense. The pendulum swung so many times, and there was never a sure moment. I am so relieved that the verdict resulted in justice. It is important to give the public the information as our laws dictate to better understand...more
Horrible book. I went in knowing there would be a lot of adult content and I was fine with that. No, my problem was the fact that this was written by the prosecutor. As a ardent reader of true crime, I usually don't mind when the author has something to do with the case, since true crime authors are often the prosecuting attorney or a cop that worked on the case. But when you were the prosecutor of this crime that you wrote a book about, I don't need to hear about how smart and pretty you are in...more
Cara Byrne
Whereas a lot of reviews for this book focus on the other words, how awful it was for a human being to be treated in such a way (which it was) I would just like to comment about the WAY the book was written.

At first, it takes you back to what happened. You're living through what Colleen lived through and then the next 'section' of the book takes you to the court proceedings which divulges a little into what else happened with her and it leaves you thinking 'Hold on, where did it men...more
I enjoy reading "true crime", and this book was included on a few lists as an interesting case. I suspect the reasons I had not heard about it before had to do with the fact that it happened when I was very young (1977 through 1984), and that the nature of the crime(s) was so graphic, awful, unimaginable and centered around sex crimes so heinous that would have been rated XXX.

Unfortunately, this book was not well-written. The story was co-authored by the county prosecutor, and told mainly from...more
Kerrin Proctor
Where do I begin? I guess I will start with the terrible spelling and grammar. Did someone actually edit this book or was it all put together in a rush? Is it really that hard to spell difficult? And at one point Christine McGuire was called a him. These things made it really hard to read this book because I had to do a double take and make sure what I was reading actually made sense.

I also did not like that most of the time the story focused on the hardships that the district attorney Christin...more
Tamary Anderson
I knew quite a bit about this story before I read the novel.

I found the writing to be pretty good. I liked going back and forth with the timeline.

Wow what an insane, twisted individual Cameron Hooker is. I don't think Janice Hooker deserves immunity... she should have ended things before they started. I read this book on the way to florida on vacation and then on the way back my dad read it. He said he couldn't believe that colleen (k) was so gullible that she believed everything about the comp...more
Tom Schulte
Thanks to the details on the suffering, privation, and orchestrated isolation of "the girl in the box" this has the makings of an engrossing true crime study with as much to say on breaking a person as the farther limits of organized cruelty. However, the authors elected to pull forward discussion of legal events that occasions after the victim regained her into interleaving chapters much too soon; before escape even seemed possible. It seems today authors think fractured chronology is appropria...more
This book was hard to give a rating to because it was such a horrific true story. The things this young woman suffered at the hands of a sadistic physcopath are incomprehensible. And after being givin some "freedom" she stayed. She had been brainwashed and believed everything this man had told her. Then the fact that he had a wife who not only aided in the kidnapping, but also stayed and helped keep her captive and also brought a child into the mix is just inbelievable. You become engrossed in t...more
Dec 29, 2009 Beverly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: true crime buffs
I've been a true crime buff ever since I read Truman Capote's In Cold Blood as a teenager. The human psyche just fascinates me.

This is a book I have read before. It was my father's book and is now mine. I needed something to read over the holidays so this one looked appealing since I have long since forgot the details.

Basically this is about a guy who was in to bondage so he kidnaps a girl who can't say "No" and keeps her in a box under her bed. He has her sign a slave contract and takes her out...more

This book was amazing - and not in a good way. Disgusting kidnapping of a young girl and the seven YEARS of torture and brainwashing she endured. I enjoy reading true crime, but after one as disturbing as this one, I'm considering a lighter-comedic read. The book is well written and describes the scenes well without sexual graphics. The court proceedings were insightful although I was surprised at the judge's ability to interject comments and opinions and question certain witnesses.

If you enjoy...more
Patricia Kaniasty
This is a very intense book showing the crime and following court case. Very involved story with good arguments on both sides. If the book had not included the actual story and only the court case, I would say the defense did a great job fighting it. However, knowing the truth made all that moot.
I don't often read true-crime books, but after seeing a TV documentary about Colleen Stan's seven-year ordeal, I felt compelled to learn more, if only because her story was so incredible that it was difficult to believe. My only complaint about the book, which was co-written by prosector Christine McGuire, is that all of its references to McGuire are in the third person. Even though McGuire is sometimes modest and self-deprecating, many of the passages about herself nevertheless seem self-absorb...more
This book was written as from both the perspective of how it happened and from the courtroom. It was a bit long winded in places but truly horrifying because it's true and happened to someone in the USA. It brings to light that non-consensual slavery can be all too real and that brainwashing is something that isn't something that is just fiction. The things that Colleen suffered went beyond what any person should suffer in any relationship whether it's S/M or not. Cameron Hooker deserved every b...more
Edwina Hall Callan
I read this book in 2007.

An intensely horrifying book about a young woman who spends 7 years living in the stuff of which nightmares are made.
Well written and fast paced, yet there were times when I had to lay the book aside because I couldn't see the words from the tears running down my face.
How Colleen survived everything she went through with her sanity intact is a testament to her inner strength.
If you are a fan of "True Crime" then this book is definitely a book you should read.
Oct 24, 2008 Melissa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who loves real crime
Very good (if a novel like this can be categorized by the word “good”). I enjoyed reading this because it seemed so bizarre and so unbelievable yet, it happened. I liked how the court case was described through the eyes of the prosecutor. This gave a very interesting (legal) perspective. It is scary to believe something like this could take place and continue to take place for such an extensive period of time. This really shows you how the human brain can be manipulated… scary.
Allison White
This book was a fantastic, brilliant read. The best book I have ever read and I'm an avid bookworm.

I read this in 1996 and it was passed around the office. No-one would believe the horrific abuse this person suffered when we talked about it, so those in the office wanted to read it and also found the book impacted them greatly and played on their minds too thereafter. Even now, I remember this book above all. Remember the detail. It's too horrific to imagine.
Kirsten Coveney
This was one of the first true crime novels I ever read. It sparked my interest in true crime as well as psychology. How this woman lived the way she did and never left, despite having the chance to, has always fascinated me. I gave only 3 stars because the writing was a little disjointed at times without clear direction.

I will always remember this book for the foundation it gave to me for my interests in true crime and the criminal mind.
This book was twisted, evil and demented on so many, many levels! It's a true story and horrifying to imagine these things happening to someone. The state of mentality a person has to have to do that to another has to be the true definition of a psychopath. And the victim's state of mind afterwards could only be near catatonic.

This story is not for that weak. If this is your genre, true crime, this is a great book.
whoa dude. this is some messed up shit. i don't know how this woman survived what she was put through.
it's beyond depressing that there are people who have such messed up brains that they do these sorts of things to people; i wish there was some way to identify them quickly, alter their chemical make up and stop them from committing these sick-ass crimes before they even get to start.
come on science! get on that!
More often than not I don't take the time to type up a review answer will just simply assign stars to the books. As a true crime reader however I really enjoyed this book. I admit early on it seemed to "jump" a bit but I learned quickly to pay attention at the beginning of the chapter as to the dates. Maybe I enjoyed this more because I knew the story a bit from true crime shows but I definitely recommend it
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Cover Needed for Perfect Victim 3 153 Sep 16, 2012 05:37PM  
  • Whatever Mother Says...: A True Story of a Mother, Madness and Murder
  • Cellar of Horror
  • Deadly Innocence
  • The Darkest Night: The Murder of Innocence in a Small Town
  • Cruel Sacrifice
  • Lethal Marriage: The Unspeakable Crimes of Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka
  • A Beautiful Child
  • I Know My First Name Is Steven
  • Cruel Deception
  • House Of Secrets
  • From Cradle to Grave: The Short Lives and Strange Deaths of Marybeth Tinning's Nine Children
  • The Hillside Stranglers
  • In Broad Daylight
  • Invisible Darkness
  • Son
  • Because You Loved Me
  • Fred & Rose
  • Lust Killer
Is THE EDGE OF NORMAL inspired by true events? Absolutely. When a shocking kidnapping case first hit headlines, Carla Norton wedged herself between reporters and sketch artists to cover the trial, and later wrote PERFECT VICTIM with the prosecutor. The book made the reading list for the FBI's Behavioral Sciences Unit and became a #1 New York Times nonfiction bestseller.

Carla's debut crime fiction,...more
More about Carla Norton...
The Edge of Normal (Reeve LeClaire, #1) Disturbed Ground Suspense Magazine January 2014 FINGERS: a short story What Doesn't Kill Her (Reeve LeClaire, #2)

Share This Book