#7.....2012 The Trade by Thomas Kirkwood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Young, Eastern European women are promised jobs, and a chance for a better life, only to see those promises crushed when they are auctioned off and sold into sexual slavery...Welcome to the Natasha Trade...a multi-million dollar, world wide business....set up to satisfy the "esoteric" tastes of wealthy men...Asian, American, Arab, Russian.....mostly Westerners, who have the $$$
One Natasha escaped....and built a better life with a husband and child...until her former "master" found her....killed her husband and framed her for the murder.....now, with her daughter's whereabouts unknown...life is pretty much over for Kristyna
After a daring escape from the courthouse, during her sentencing hearing (an escape involving a body-double, no less)...and a series of evasive maneuvers by sea....our Kristyna ends up back in Europe, hell-bound for Slovenia...bent on revenge, and finding her daughter. Hot on her tail are two FBI agents, bent on capturing her and returning her to the USA....after that, the story gets complicated
Did I mention, one of the the Slovenian bad guys seemed to be an reincarnation of the Mad Monk, Rasputin...complete with a "church" and a "doctrine" of Redemption that would creep out anyone. A cold blooded but "smart as a whip" sociopath...
Car chases, role playing, "slave auctions" by the light of oil barrel fires....all the elements of a decent thriller are here..along with pointed social commentary. The story ain't pretty, there is plenty of violence...but the scared little girl is finally reunited with her mother and they live...
Except, the Natasha Trade is still thriving...young women are still desperate..throughout the world
I thought this was a good Thriller..a bit heavy-handed, at times. The FBI agents were a bit much in the "macho" vein...as Tough Guys...but, they spoke in complete sentences and had legitimate gripes about their lame assed Superiors...Ultimately they were brave and saved one woman and her daughter...I recommend this book, it was a pleasant surprise
***this was a Net Galley***