This is the third mystery featuring Jared McKean, 36-year-old former member of Metro Nasvhille’s now defunct Murder Squad, is now working as a private detective. The tale opens with what is in effect a prologue from the p.o.v. of Tuyet, a young girl who it seems had left Vietnam determined to find a new life in America and who, it soon becomes clear, is a virtual prisoner among fourteen other young women in what is apparently a sex slave/trafficking ring.
Jared becomes involved in the ultimate search for the girl when he is approached by Khan, a woman who it would appear is his half-sister, born of a relationship with his now-deceased father, and who is in turn Tuyet’s mother, searching for her daughter. This is complicated by the nearly simultaneous discovery outside of Jared’s office of the body of a murdered 19-year-old Vietnamese girl, with Jared’s address and phone number and a photo of his father in her pocket.
Interspersed periodically are other chapters from the p.o.v. of Tuyet, which make fascinating reading, and make the horror of her situation that much more visceral. The victims of the ring are enslaved, beaten, raped, tortured, and sold to serial “members” of the group, the leaders of which ring are nearly impossible to track down. (I should add that there are few graphic details of any of this, happily.) Jared, working as a “consultant” with the local police, is assisted in his efforts by Khan, who will not be turned aside. As she says, “I know. You work alone. I come with you.” The pace of the story picks up as Jared’s investigation starts to heat up, and then becomes a real page-turner as it moves toward a riveting finale. Recommended....Continua