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Monday, October 15, 2012

In the Name of Freedom by Carol Marvell

In the Name of Freedom by Carol Marvell
Slave Trader Book One
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Action/Adventure, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (321 pgs)
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

For the past three years, young prostitutes and destitute women have been vanishing without trace. The only common links to their disappearances are their good looks and prison records.

Never before has a cop been taken.

Detective Billie McCoy, a member of an elite undercover squad, is on assignment when she stumbles onto a slavery racket that goes deeper than she could ever have imagined. Plunged into a web of corruption and evil, not only does she have to contend with the slave traders, but also her fellow prisoners – all who hate cops.

Stretching from the streets of Sydney to the rainforests in far north Queensland, it’s a race against time. Filled with determination, disappointment and twists, the story follows Billie’s fight for freedom and her greatest ever challenge. She will need all her cunning and skill to get out alive and see justice done.

Blood will be spilt, hopes will be destroyed – all to uncover a plot so unpredictable that only fate can decide . . .

A split second decision changes Billie’s life forever.

While on a standard undercover mission, Billie hears a woman in distress and decides to stray from the task at hand. Though Billie puts up a good fight, she soon finds herself caught in the clutches of a ruthless slave trader. Even if Billie can free herself and the other prisoners, her life will never be the same.

Billie is certainly a skilled fighter who has no qualms about taking on enemies twice her size. Even when she’s out numbered, Billie often makes a stand and manages to make her captors wish they’d never laid eyes on her. I admire Billie’s confidence and the fact that she keeps a positive attitude no matter how dire her situation appears. I have no doubt that her refusal to accept defeat will keep her going through her ordeal. Not only is Billie a tough as nails cop, but she is a compassionate person as well. Billie has every intention of escaping and she won’t leave any of the other prisoners behind when she does, even though the other women have made it clear they hate her. I really respect Billie’s determination to do the right thing, especially when she is face with such animosity.

Billie is the only character I really got to know with any depth. The other prisoners are basically stereotypes. They are women who have had rough lives and have a chip or two on their shoulders. They act tough, but are much more vulnerable than they let on. I didn’t learn much about the other women’s lives until the very end of the story during a scene where they are all sharing their “stories.” While it was nice to finally learn a bit more about each of the women, I felt that the scene had an awkward feel to it because so many details tumbled out all at once. I think it would have been a bit more realistic if the flow of information had been spread out through the story a bit more.

I must mention that there is a lot of fighting in this book described in blow by blow detail. In fact, the fight scenes make up a majority of the content in this suspense. While the action seemed realistic, it became a bit much after a while, and I could have done with less description on some of the more minor fights. I also couldn’t believe the amount of fighting that went on between Billie and the other prisoners. It was very counterproductive, especially after Billie went out of her way to help the other girls a couple of times. Billie could have simply looked after herself, but she repeatedly put her life on the line for women who clearly didn’t appreciate her efforts. I think Billie’s actions would have warranted more respect from her fellow prisoners much sooner in the story. I also question how Billie was able to continue fighting at such a high level given the sheer number of battles she found herself in and the fact that she wasn’t getting very much good food or sleep.

The ending of Slave Trader is very hard to swallow. Knowing this book was the first in a series, I anticipated an open ended conclusion. However, after everything that Billie and the other women had been through, I thought they would have been in a better place at the end of this installment. I was left feeling that everything Billie and the other women had gone through was all in vain. I certainly hope Billie’s situation improves drastically in the next book.

Overall, I thought Slave Trader was a good read. Billie is an admirable character and she and her fellow prisoners have attitude to spare. Anyone looking for a suspense loaded with action and fighting might want to give Slave Trader a try.

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