When Special Agent Nick McFarlane receives news that his partner of eight years is in trouble, he doesn’t hesitate. Throwing himself into a deep cover operation to expose and shut down The Micahs, a child trafficking ring, Nick enters, unprepared for the reality that awaits.
Special Agent Meredith Richards took the assignment fully aware of the consequences. Leaving her life behind, she knew she wouldn’t be able to get out with her life until she shut the Micahs down for good.
When Meredith’s informant is murdered and her contact inside the organization starts to lose control, Meredith is forced to make choices she can’t take back. On the edge of sacrificing herself, her principles, and her life, she begins to wonder if she will survive the case, or if she even wants to.
The darkness of the world they live in is nearly suffocating, the horrendous acts of violence and senseless crimes they witness eats them inside, rarely giving them a moment of peace, or their mind and soul the opportunity to rest.
When I was offered the eARC to be read, I was apprehensive, and I considered it much longer than I normally do because I was afraid to be sucked into the gloom of the world that I possibly will meet. I get emotionally connected to the stories I read, and sometimes it's not a good thing. I am glad I read this story, the topic of human trafficking, not to mention child trafficking, should be front and center daily until it is no more. But I do admit this pulled me in deep, maybe deeper than I wanted to go.
Both Special Agent Meredith Richards and Special Agent Nick McFarlane end up under cover at the beginning of the story. Meredith so deep inside, they have to send Nick to get her out. But the injustice of the criminal world, the blood already on Meredith's hands, the faces she can not forget, the little angels she has to at least to try to rescue, pull both of them even deeper in until the lines are blurring, and the possibilities of surviving seems to be none.
Just barely enough information is given in any scene so that the story keeps its interest and its hook on you, yet you never know what is coming behind the next corner, you are barely aware of the big picture of the crimes planned or committed, putting the reader's mind on the edge, and giving jitters. The vile, savage acts keep coming, the crimes pile on, it seems like there's no end, no hope, no resurrection, no one will be able to save neither the victims or the agents that have seen it all.
I was hoping the romance would bring a wish for better days to come, hope for peace of mind, and a little light to the utter darkness the story unfolded in. Yet there's jealousy, anger, and resentment mixed with it. The love seems to be twisted with desperation, agony, and pain. More of a release of all the hopeless desperation their feel with the case, like the last hope rope for survival. I could have used just a tiny morsel of sweetness after all the darkness, even though the connection between Nick and Meredith was palpable, the angst around it was just too much for me.
The characters are solid, the story is well written, it unfolds with a rapid speed, and the events - and characters - are ghastly yet believable in a horrid way. If you go for the sinister, grim, in a criminal sense disturbing type of tales and you can handle the thought of a rape in your reading, I can recommend this for you. The author definitely did justice for the story when it came to intensity, and I understand the need for it to be told. Because we can not forget those lost little angels no matter how uncomfortable their stories might make us.
~ Three Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
MY GRADING SCALE:
5 Spoons - Amazing, memorable story that I loved and want to read again. The best of the best and not given lightly
4 Spoons - Fantastic, entertaining story that I enjoyed and connected with and will gladly recommend to readers
3 Spoons - A good story, not much that stood out but I was engaged enough to spend the time to read it through
2 Spoons - A story with some issues, that were a problem to me
1 Spoon - Not for me