Bloody cold, making me cranky and miserable.
November feels like the longest of months.
I finished Hell Gate,
and it is well worth the read.
A good tight mystery.
The plot centers around the shipwreck of a vessel from the Ukraine.
The women on board,
were brought to New York under false pretenses.
They believe they are coming to the land of opportunity,
as domestic workers and restaurant wait staff.
In fact they are being brought in as sex slaves.
I have read a few novels with similar themes in the past few years,
a sign of the times,
What I like about this novel,
is that there is no attempt to gloss over the horror
of these womens reality,
there is no sensationalism.
The plot contains many twists about history and politics,
and the ongoing exploitation of women.
In keeping with her style,
Fairstein also educates us about the history of New York.
In Hell Gate,
we learn about the origins of Gracie Mansion,
which is the official residence of New York’s mayor.
For me it adds a little extra to a strong contemporary story.
Always entertaining, the history is anything but dry.
The plot has many layers and is not predictable.
The modern crime novel,
is a powerful tool for the discussion of ugly truths.
These stories need to be told.
When they are told with as much competence and compasion,
they add a very human texture,
to the statistics of the news and non-fiction.
This is a real good read about victims but,
also about the everyday heroes who work all over the world to stop this kind of horror.
In Linda Fairstein’s world they are Alex, Mike and Mercer.
Good, smart people,
sacrificing much to help others and,
to bring these exploiters to justice.
They are also funny and cranky and human.
Fairstein’s novels do much to debunk the myths about the honour of criminals,
and the ugly world of the sex trade.
She always makes me think and shakes my complacency.
Give her a try.