I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation. The book is Lost Girls by George Shuman.
I won’t kid you: this is a tough book, there’s not much humor, and only a sliver of happiness. But the subject is so important and so underreported that it would feel insulting to have it anyway but the way George Shuman wrote it.
We start with Sherry Moore, a most unusual heroine who we met a couple of years ago in 18 Seconds. Sherry is blind, and can see the last 18 seconds of a dead person’s life by touching their hand. Shuman, an ex-cop, seems like an odd choice to create such a vulnerable character, since he’s quick to point out that he doesn’t care much for that mumbo-jumbo stuff. And yet this is the third book featuring Sherry, who has grown and developed as a character to the point where she fits perfectly into this very large story. Sherry’s gift is positioned as being on the raw edge of science and she helps the Feds whenever the case is serious enough. And in this case, in Lost Girls, it is.
Sherry finds herself first on an Arctic mountain reading the final thoughts of a dead climber, where she sees a jungle, a castle, and women, abused. She can’t forget the misery she sees (neither could I) and sets out to find the castle and those women. At the same time, a young white girl is snatched off the sunny streets of Jamaica (Holloway much?). And that’s when things get really, really ugly.
Did you think that slavery was a relic of the past? Did you know there are well over 12 million people living as slaves right now, today? That can mean anything from child soldiers to forced labor to sex slaves, the Lost Girls of this book. Women and we are largely talking about girls and young women are kidnapped and then sold into a kind of hell I barely knew existed. Sex tourism doesn’t that sound fun?
Before you move on and either read this book or not, I want you to read this page from the State Department web site. Then decide what you want to do.