Serena Diaz's career as a successful teacher falls apart when she is accused of molesting a male student, Brock. He's angry because the low grade she gave him means he won't get the scholarship to Cornell. Told to stay away from the high school campus, Serena takes her sketching pad and heads for the hills. She stumbles upon a human trafficking exchange, resulting in the death of a man and a life of terror for her.
This is a suspenseful novel. Serena is a feisty woman who wants to understand the man who died protecting her. She also wants to understand why her student is doing such a horrible thing to her. Trying to get to the truth entangles her in a web of lies so thick she may not escape alive.
True to Erin's form, this novel is a meeting place of the natural and the supernatural worlds. Like the Celtic “thin places,” there is a burned out house in the novel where some see the supernatural invading the senses. It made me wonder if sometimes we miss the true reality of a place or event because we are so fixated on the physical reality of things.
This is a very good novel. It rips at your heart to read about the girls being kidnapped and horribly mistreated. While the story flows well, it is a hard one to read – not because of the writing style but because of the subject. The end makes it worthwhile, however.
In her Author Note, Erin points out that human trafficking has risen tho third place in the world's ranking of the fastest growing illegal industries, behind drugs and weapons.
Erin Healy is the best-selling author of several novels, some with co-author Ted Dekker. She and her family live in Colorado.
Thomas Nelson, 368 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.