Sixteen-year-old Monica Cassidy was anxiously anticipating losing her virginity in a dingy hotel room as she awaited the arrival of a nice boy she met on an Internet chatroom. What she got was the stuff of nightmares when she was abducted, drugged, used and abused by drug and human traffickers. Shot and left for dead, Monica becomes key in an ongoing criminal investigation provided the good guys can keep her alive long enough to identify her captors.
New York attorney Susannah Vartanian is a rape survivor, well aware of the evil her recently deceased brother Simon was capable of. Thirteen years ago Simon and a group of other privileged young men from around the Dutton, Georgia area formed a rape club. Members of that old club are dying but that doesn’t mean they have disbanded. With the recent discovery of five dead teenaged girls, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation including Susannah’s brother Daniel and special agent Luke Papadopoulos, goes into high gear trying to close in on the smuggling ring.
The good old boy network, a personal vendetta dating back to the Viet Nam war, blackmail, prostitution, the Internet and murder figure prominently in this satisfyingly complex, high-tension mystery that will keep readers guessing. The budding romance between Susannah and Luke provides a nice, sane counternote to what could otherwise be a very dark read as it explores the worst of human behavior. Excellent character development, deft handling of a dense, carefully choreographed storyline and a strong sense of family ties make this a genuine pleasure.