ISBN #: 978-1451669121
Page Count: 316
Copyright: November 6, 2012
Publisher: Gallery Books
(Taken from back cover)
Newly heartbroken and searching for purpose in her life, Abby Monroe is determined to make her mark as a UN worker in one of the world's most unstable cities: Peshawar, Pakistan. But after witnessing the brutal murder of a woman thrown from a building, she is haunted by the memory of an intricate and sparkling bracelet that adorned the victim's wrist.
At a local woman's shelter, Abby meets former sex slaves who have miraculously escaped their captors. As she gains the girls' trust and documents their horrifying accounts of unspeakable pain and betrayal, she joins forces with a dashing New York Times reporter who believes he can incriminate the shadowy leader of the vicious human trafficking ring. Inspired by the women's remarkable bravery - and the mysterious reappearance of the bracelet - the duo traces evidence that spreads from remote villages of South Asia to the most powerful corners of the West, risking their lives to offer a voice to the countless innocents in bondage.
** Slight spoiler alert in the overall section below **
It's a simple title, but it does make you wonder what is so special about the bracelet. Besides being made with expensive jewels, it does provide a link and a clue to the person, or people, behind all the terribleness of what's happening in Peshawar.
I would have liked to see the cover better reflect the feel of the novel. Yes, it's to showcase the bracelet, but the woman on the cover is white. The bracelet, in the novel, was given to a woman of Pakistan and, as we are all familiar with, those women are not white. They have a beautiful brown coloring to their skin and it should have been reflected in the artwork.
We meet a lady, Abby, who has recently been broken up with and is heartbroken. To get away from things, she decides to apply for a job with the United Nations at their location in Peshawar, Pakistan. She is looking for a new direction and purpose in life and feels that this position would give her that.
During her assignment, she meets a reporter who is supposedly there to write a fluff piece about Abby. They mix like oil and water, which is to say not at all. He seems more seriously involved than Abby when it comes to the trafficking of women. Her association with the reporter causes others to feel that she is as big a danger to their 'organization' as the reporter. Her emails are gone through, her things are gone through and her whereabouts are being followed and reported to some not very nice people.
Can Abby help break up this particular band of women traffickers?
Abby - Heartbroken, searching for purpose, and is still in love with her ex ... although she is quickly falling for the reporter. She is too naive for my taste. It was obvious who was rummaging through her things and her emails but she chose to remain oblivious.
Nick - A New York Times reporter who arrived in Pakistan to, supposedly, write a fluff piece on a UN worker. He's really there to break the human trafficking story wide open. He's resourceful and often secretive, but completely trustworthy.
Najeela - A Pakistani woman serving as Abby's host while she's in Peshawar. Najeela is also the niece to a very wealthy distributor. She has a secret boyfriend whom she hopes to marry, which cannot happen unless her father approves.
From the book summary, I was expecting an emotional, riveting read. What I got, instead, was a light, easy read despite the seriousness of the issue being discussed.
There was also a part that I thought did not fit well with this story because it just didn't make sense to me. Abby and Nick were being threatened because of how close they were getting to revealing the trafficking organization, which is understandable. One part showed Abby being caught by her potential killer, but he just let her go. What?!! He actually had his hands on her. He spoke with her. Then he just let her go. This is supposed to be a man who is dangerous, has killed before, and he has caught one of the main people who has ruined his chance at future wealth ... and he just let her go. Not believable.
I didn't hate this book, but I probably won't read it again. I just couldn't get lost in the story.
*A paperback copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.