Trafficked is a rather intense novel that will leave you thinking about it for days after you turn the last page or close your Kindle. And so it should. Modern slavery and sex trafficking exist probably in the city you live in and yet hundreds of thousands of ordinary people are oblivious to the fact that it does exist. It is insidious and horrific for those enmeshed in its clutches and whether you read this book or not, you need to be aware of it and tell at least one other person about it. Become concerned; become an influence to eradicate it. I received a free advance copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review.
This is the second Mex Anderson novel by Peg Brantley and it centres around three children of diverse ages and backgrounds. Each of them gets caught up in a total nightmare through no fault of their own and by different scenarios. Each is believable and each is totally scary. It could happen to someone you know.
Jayla Thomas — Denver, Colorado — is a hard-working, black high school student with straight “A”s. Her mother has “boyfriends” and doesn’t want her around when they drop by so she has a variety of places she can crash. One such place belongs to Chris. Chris seems like a nice guy who digs computers but he has got involved in online betting and he’s jammed up. He owes big time. He can get out from under if he sets Jayla up for a college prank. He’s pretty sure it isn’t a college prank but doesn’t want to think about what it might really be. This is his ticket out.
Alexis Halston — Denver, Colorado — is 17 years old and totally fit. She comes from a wealthy family where her father only has time for business and her mother is boozed up most of the time. She has great wheels, and looks and acts worldly wise and independent. Her trainer, Donny, moves from gym to gym every few months, zeroes in on someone with money, strikes up a relationship, and bilks them. But Alexis doesn’t come into her money until she’s 21 and Donny has already invested too much time in her to wait, so he’s ready to sell her. It’s all set.
Olivia — Aurora, Utah — is 12 years old, has a best friend Maddy, and wants to be a vet. Being a kid sucks and she wishes she were grown up. She meets Ian on Facebook when she’s at Maddy’s. They meet and soon, Ian is the most important person in her life. But Ian is not who he seems and fortunately for Livvy, Maddy is more street-wise and distrustful than she is.
Mex and his friend, Cade, have rescued kidnap victims before. Together they work with police and social work contacts, the Internet, and their wits to track victims and rescue them. The three victims are being used by different pimps from the sleazy back alley type to the wealthy psychotic. All are being brutalized. Each story is interwoven with chapters following their pursuit by Mex, Cade, and their friend, Darius. Their trails lead in more than one direction, one, out of the country. Each chapter begins with a quote from a book, newspaper, or famous person. Some of the facts are shocking. Most of them are grim. My favourite is from Nelson Mandela, There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way it treats its children.
This is a taut story, full of tension and eliciting disgust. It is a story that had to be told. Never doubt that it is based in reality and never doubt that you can make a difference. Be sure to read the author’s note at the end and check out the resources as well. I would add this site, Free the Slaves, to the list, and urge you to become aware and involved. (I know I said that already but it can’t be said enough.) Trafficked is now available in ebook and soon in paperback. An excellent book! * * * * *