Top critical review
on 2 July 2015
I have never been to Amsterdam but I always imagined the famous Red Light District was this: a sort of well-managed Disneyland of sex where cheerful and healthy hookers happily ply their trade for curious tourists and boozy, high-spirited, sexually adventurous lads on stag nights. Sarah Forsyth's harrowing account reveals a sordid, brutal culture where sex-trafficked women are held as slaves and exploited by ruthless pimps - themselves engaged in vicious turf wars with each other. Conned by an advert, Sarah travels to Amsterdam believing she will be taking up a post as a nanny, only to be hustled out of the airport, bundled into a car and driven into Hell on Earth. Sarah's story is extremely distressing - and not just her nightmare experience as an unwilling Amsterdam sex slave. Her troubles begin in childhood with an abusive father and further abuse suffered in various care homes. I do like to read the occasional misery memoir, but this one was almost too much to bear. Approach this book with caution; it is deeply disturbing.