Disclosure: I received a free e-book copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.
Warning! Content Rating: R – There are no explicit sex scenes, but there is graphic violence. There is significant violence that is referenced (as in past police cases) and violence that is related by characters, second-hand. This book deals with issues of pornography and pedophilia.
Rachel, an 18-year-old Columbia University student descends into the netherworld of runaways and predators to find her sister, Olivia, who has suddenly disappeared. After getting a job in a strip joint where Olivia worked, then doing private shows in the homes of rich clients, Rachel discovers that Olivia has been abducted by a killer who auctions the deaths of young girls in an eBay of agony. As she closes in on the killer who has taken Olivia, Rachel becomes his next target.
This is one of those times where not reading what the story is about (or the content warning) came back and nipped me in the bud!
I am not going to say it was awful and I regret reading it. I don’t. I just wish I would have been a little more prepared for what I would be reading (totally my fault).
This is not an easy read – mentally and emotionally.
It is dark. It is evil. It is a scary world that I have no doubt is not reality to some extent.
I don’t want to give too much detail, but in short, Rachel’s adopted sister Olivia is missing.
As Rachel starts her own investigation as to where her sister may be, she uncovers secrets that Olivia has been keeping and finds herself in a world of pedophilia.
It definitely kept me on my toes and kept me wanting to read more to figure it out (because I was wrong in my guess of “who dunnit”).
There were a lot of characters to try to keep track of and it did confuse me at times, but it was more of trying to keep track of who was who and trying to solve the mystery before the end of the book. (Bonus: I did not figure it out before the book told me so that is always an added bonus to any mystery!)
I have to be honest – I am not sure many of my friends would enjoy reading this book BUT if you are the type of person who likes thrillers, likes suspense, likes the mysteriousness of trying to figure out who is behind the madness and can look past the dark content of prostitutes, pedophilia, and violence – it is a good book.
Meet the Author
Gustavo Florentin was born in Queens, New York and received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Polytechnic University of New York. He spent a decade in the defense industry working on the F-14 fighter jet and classified electronics projects. After the fall of the Soviet Union, many thought America wouldn’t need weapons anymore, so while others waited for the peace dividend, he moved on to the financial sector in New York where he is currently a network engineer. His passions include violin, travel to exotic places and exploring worldwide conspiracies. He lives in New Jersey where he is working on his third novel. His thriller, In the Talons of the Condor, won the following awards:
WUACADEMIA–Prix d’Or Best Novel
The Verb First Chapter Contest–First Prize
Mount Arrowsmith Best Novel 4th place
The Writing Show–Second Prize best first chapter of a novel.
Second Prize–16th Annual International Latino Book Awards
Interview with the Author
Q:If you could put yourself as a character in your book, who would you be?
GF: I would be Detective McKenna. He’s got some of the same qualities I have, such as being socially dysfunctional, full of regrets and a loner; at the same time he’s got some qualities, I aspire to, such as relentlessness and iron will.
Q:Do you have another profession besides writing?
GF: Yes, I’m an IT engineer at a financial firm in New York. It has absolutely no connection with writing fiction. I have an office at my home where I do IT, then at the end of the day, I leave that place and don’t go back until the next day. I do all my reading and writing by the fireplace.
Q:Is there a specific ritualistic thing you do during your writing time?
GF: I read first to get into the mindset, then I read what I wrote the day before and do some light editing, then I write my quota which is 600 words, Monday through Friday and a 1000 to 1500 words on the weekend days.
Q:In today’s tech savvy world, most writers use a computer or laptop. Have you ever written parts of your book on paper?
GF: I always carry a moleskin notebook with me to jot down ideas and I have had occasion to fill many a page. But writing a book on paper is out of the question. I type much faster than I can write by hand and my penmanship is horrendous.
Q: Do you plan to confine yourself to the thriller genre?
GF: No. I plan to focus on thrillers for now, but once I’ve made a reputation in that genre, I’d like to expand and write science fiction, which I love and also something along the lines of “A Year in Provence” but with more inner exploration like in The Snow Leopard by Peter Mathiessen.
Q: Is there a book you wish you had written?
GF: Yes, The Snow Leopard. It is ostensibly about the search for a rare cat in the Himalayas, but that’s really just a vehicle for an exploration of history, geography, politics and spirituality. Absolutely brilliant.
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