*****Terrifying Heart Wrenching Reality Review by Rox Burkey
Author Mark Bierman crafts a fictional story focused on the horror of human trafficking of children. This is a relevant issue that occurs across the globe. Sadly, it helps illustrate greed, cruelty, exploitation, and corruption in an abhorrent way. Half the proceeds from sales of this book are donated to organizations that combat human trafficking.
Haiti, as a location, might have you romanticizing about the Caribbean islands, though it has a long history of violent crimes. The setting is excellent for this story. Author Bierman grabs you right off the bat and keeps you connected with the non-stop action.
An atheist, Janjak scoffed at the supernatural designation. Raven may have been a sadistic carnivore, but he was just a man. One who treated his prey with feline cruelty.
Frantz began to sob. Now ashamed, Janjak let him up. Frantz scurried away.
A gravelly voice chased him, “I don’t want to hurt you. I just want to play! Heee! Haa! Haaa! Haaaaa!”
Nauseous, Janjak turned away. The laughter became thunderous. The building shook. The scene exploded into chaos. For an instant, he almost believed Kalfu existed. What’s going on? A quick glance around revealed three hundred men in the tennis court sized room running amok. They crashed into one another and tripped over debris. The fallen were trampled.
Janjak froze. A section of roof collapsed with the reverberating sound of discordant kettle drums, crushing Raven. Red blood flowed from the corpse. Raven was human.
This natural disaster sets off a chain of events that bring two Americans, Tyler and John, to help with the relief efforts. Tyler’s wife and John’s daughter, Joy, recently died from pancreatic cancer, and both men thought the giving to the Haitian community would be therapeutic for their grieving process. These two characters were relatable throughout the story, with their actions making each situation more believable.
When Chantale, the seven-year-old of the housekeeper, where the men are staying is kidnapped, Tyler becomes consumed with finding her. John and Tyler both focus on finding the girl but uncover more slavery and despicable human suffering than they ever imagined. Unlikely support for them comes from Janiak, the escapee from prison, who started out wanting to rob the men but showed he possesses a heart.
Author Bierman does an excellent job of showing all the sides of people, families, communities, and evil due to human trafficking. This dramatic, action-packed, suspenseful, and overwhelmingly sad look at humanity’s dark side was impossible to put down. In many places, it made me cry, and still, I had to finish. I highly recommend this book for adults who want to understand this terrible problem and the plight of so many. Mark Bierman should be commended for writing a bold story in such a creative way.
About the Author
Born and raised on a farm near Brockville, Ontario, Mark Bierman’s childhood consisted of chores, riding horses, snowmobile races across open fields, fishing trips to a local lake, and many other outdoor adventures. He was also an avid reader of both fiction and non.
Transitioning towards adulthood also meant moving from the farm and into large urban areas that introduced this “country boy” to life in the big cities.
After a short stint as a private investigator, he moved into the role of Correctional Officer, working at both Millhaven Institution and Kingston Penitentiary, until it closed.
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