The hardest part about not believing in God isn’t knowing there’s no heaven.
It’s knowing there’s no hell.
The thing with human trafficking is, that it has been glamorized beyond recognition in contemporary romance it has started to sound like an appealing way to meet your one true pair. Such a horrible reality has been fluffed out by exceptionally attractive, kinky and ruthless alpha heroes with a heart of gold in fiction that it has started to become a selling point in books.
This is not that kind of book.
For readers who have see the film Taken, this is exactly that storyline except its the daughter who has to find her kidnapped father who turns out to be a CIA field agent. With the help of their former Mossad agent neighbour and a hacker friend, seventeen year-old prep school senior Gwendolyn Bloom discovers the truth about her father who just disappeared after a “meeting” in Paris. The secrets that he harbours sends her on an elaborate chase across Europe, opening her eyes to a world beyond the comforts of the Upper East Side that she loathes, changing her from a bullied introvert to a creature of infinite cruelty in order to save her family.
At its core, The Cruelty should be a five-star, favourite shelf book for me. It’s 4472 kindle pages, with an addictive, easy to latch on narrative dragging Gwendolyn in an impossibly adrenaline pumped, gruelling adventure with Mossad operatives in Paris, prostitutes in Berlin and the Czech Mafia in Prague. It takes you to their seedy underbellies, the world of desperate refugees and runaways. A culture and a civilization away from our own, shrouded in an atmosphere of abandon, hopelessness and decay.
This is the Paris of the Nigerians who wash the visitors’ coffee cups, the Paris of the Arabs who sell them little Mona Lisa magnets from blankets spread out on the curb by the Seine.