Most helpful positive review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Distressingly real and utterly spell-binding
on 23 January 2013
This has got to be the best Danny Logan book I've read so far, if only because of the harrowing nature of the subject matter, and how skilfully the author has created characters in whom we can believe, whose reactions are all-too-realistically portrayed, and where the baddies get their well-deserved come-uppance. What makes it particularly poignant is the author's note, explaining why the subject, the numbers of victims within the United States (and let's not kid ourselves, child abuse and sexual slavery is happening throughout the world, not just 'somewhere else'), and the websites available to confirm the problem.
A sexually-abused young woman, a minor, has run away from that sexual abuse in her home, only to be apparently rescued, just to end up somewhere much worse. When Danny Logan and his team take up the investigation, because Isabel is a friend of the sister of one of his team, they find out firstly that the girl's mother - as is so often the case - knew about the abuse, but refused to acknowledge it, because of the implications it would have on her domestic situation. That, however, is really the tip of the iceberg, and the team move on through child shelters with their own abuse stories, until they come to realise that the city is inundated with gangs who control young people, forcing them into child prostitution, taking all the money, and kicking out the children when they're no longer useful.
It takes a great deal of skill to be able to deal with such a subject without too much emotion getting in the way, and M D Grayson has done a brilliant job of acknowledging the desire to rush in and eliminate the intermediaries without being close enough to destroy the organisation from the top. There's also a very telling exchange between Logan's team and the FBI, where the FBI don't really shine. I have to say, though, that one of the scenes which will stay with me, and which really should be pointed out loud and long in any discussion of child sexual slavery must be the one where the Reverend Art tells Isabel's story, and points out to his congregation that they know the people who are carrying out the slavery, and have a responsibility to stop them; that it is their own children who are at risk if they do not. The only thing he doesn't say, but should, is, of course, that they also know - and are possibly amongst those - who are using and abusing the children, and that the individual sexual predator should also be revealed.
This story is exceptionally well written, with enough ordinary banter to provide relief from the serious subject. There's even time for some office practical jokes - but I really didn't need to know about the tarantula!