Published by Thomas & Mercer on October 25th 2016
Buy on Amazon
Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Barry Eisler is an Author who does not disappoint. I have been a fan since I read his first book about John Rain. When reading an Eisler book, one can always count on a few things: complex interesting characters, in depth fight scenes, some violence and my favorite: strong female characters.
Labee (Livia) and her younger sister, Nason, grew up in the hills of Thailand. They came from a poor family and Labee was always on the lookout for things to eat in order to help her and her younger sister survive. One day Labee and Nason were playing in front of the family hut when their lives changed forever. Soon a van pulled up and three men stepped out and took Livia and her sister while her parents watched from the doorway of their hut. Scared and frightened, they soon learned that other children had been taken as well. Why had their parents not stopped the men that grabbed them? Where were they being taken? Sadly, Labee and her sister had been sold to human traffickers by their own parents. Labee, who has always looked out for her younger sister, tries to keep her and her younger sister safe as they and other children are kept captive by the traffickers. Soon it becomes evident that no matter what she does to try and keep her sister safe, even at her own expense, she learns that a little girl is not match to the men who have taken them. Both girls suffer sexual abuse at the hands of the men before becoming separated. Soon Labee finds herself in American being “rescued”.
Labee is taken in by a prominent family who change her name to Livia. She is promised that her new “father” will try to find her sister if she obeys and does as he asks. One nightmare turns into another for her. The only real break for her is learning martial arts from her friend and her friend’s father. She excels at this and makes friends in the process.
Later in life she becomes a sex crimes police officer in Seattle. She works hard to bring rapists and sex offenders to justice. The entire time she is desperately trying to find information on her younger sister. She has so many questions and hunts down the men who took them so long ago. She soon discovers a conspiracy and as she puts the pieces together, she discovers family secrets and the truth of how and why she and her sister were taken so long ago.
Labee/Livia is a very strong female character. She is willing to do whatever it takes to find her sister and bring their abductors to justice. She is able to take what has happened to her and turn it into a strength. She is brave, mentally and physically strong and cunning.
Eisler writes characters who operate above/beyond/outside the law. He has the ability to write about an Assassin (John Rain) and have us cheer for that character. Who hasn’t read the John Rain books and enjoyed Dox? Characters who are so likable yet live by their own code. Labee/Livia is no different. Although a police officer it is not enough to arrest those who harmed her, she wants vengeance and we root for her. We, the reader, want her to have that vengeance. I think it is a rare gift for an Author to be able to write a character who can be likable yet do unlikable things.
This is a dark gritty tale. Eisler delivers another great book that will not disappoint his fans. Be warned this book is full of sexual depravity, abuse and violence. It deals with difficult subject matter which some may find to difficult to read. But this is a worthwhile and enjoyable read. Eisler always delivers and never disappoints.