In Richard North Patterson’s Escape the Night, one of the characters is the owner of a large corporation, the antagonist J. J. Englehardt. He is bent on revenge against the Carey family. Specifically, the protagonist Peter Carey. I believe it is because Englehardt’s own father was an insurance man who killed himself after a lawsuit following a policy that went wrong. Englehardt is so focused that he does not want the liabilities of a family or attachments that might take his focus away from his singular pursuit of revenge. He does of course have basic needs. One of which is sexual release. Englehardt hires a secretary particularly for her own predicament. She is a widowed mother who needs her job worse than most. Part of the agreement they have is, she will perform one of three acts every month but only once a month. At some point during the book, she becomes engaged. But Englehardt will not allow her out of their agreement. I am unsure as to why she must continue to work. Or if she does, why there?
Why she didn’t try to find a replacement for these acts at some point? I understand that then, she is just trapping some other woman. But, doesn’t she want her own quality of life? You would think, as the part of a company, she would have heard of another woman who would have participated. Possibly even gladly. Probably for personal gain to move up in the company. But honestly, why would the secretary care? I would think she would just want out. But Englehardt would have been much more savvy than to get trapped, I believe. It was just an interesting thing. But left totally up in the air. I wish I could have known what the three acts were. Maybe someday I will get to ask Richard North Patterson himself.