Series: Angela Evans #2
Published by Goldman House Publishing on September 1st 2013
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Legal, Contemporary Women, African American, Urban
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Based on the real-life horrors faced by thousands of girls, award-winning author Pamela Samuels Young takes readers deep inside the disturbing world of child sex trafficking in a fast-paced thriller that educates as much as it entertains.
Thirteen-year-old Brianna Walker is ecstatic. She's about to sneak off to meet her first real boyfriend—a boyfriend she met on Facebook. But Brianna is in for a horrifying surprise because her boyfriend doesn't exist. Instead, Brianna unwittingly becomes the captive of a ring of drug dealers- turned-human traffickers who prey on lonely girls from dysfunctional homes. But they’ve made a big mistake in targeting Brianna because she doesn’t meet either of those criteria.
Brianna’s Uncle Dre, a man with his own criminal past, is determined to find the niece who is more like a daughter to him. Rather than sit back and rely on police to bring Brianna home, Dre scours the dark corners of Los Angeles looking for her. He is stunned to learn that the trafficking of children isn’t just happening in other countries. It’s occurring at epidemic levels right in his own backyard.
Dre is not alone in his desperate search. Loretha Johnson knows this world well. A social worker who previously lived “the life,” Loretha now dedicates her time to saving as many young girls as she can find. She turns out to be an invaluable resource for Dre, who ultimately gets a lead on The Shepherd, a mastermind in the trafficking world whose every move is fueled by ego and greed. Dre vows to bring his reign of terror to an end.
While Brianna makes a futile effort to thwart her captors, Dre is getting closer and closer to finding her. The woman he loves, attorney Angela Evans, knows the dangers faced by sexually exploited children because she represents them in juvenile court. Angela lends her moral support and, eventually, an important clue to Brianna’s whereabouts.
As he races against the clock, Dre ultimately comes up with a daring plan—one that puts many lives in danger, including his own. But will he find Brianna before it's too late?
Last month my book club decided to read a thriller for November, and Pamela Samuels Young’s Anybody’s Daughter was picked to be the book of the month. I had never read anything by this author before, but was intrigued to learn she’s a lawyer in Los Angeles. Anybody’s Daughter is a tough story to read as it’s about sex trafficking in the United States, namely California. Brianna Walker is a typical thirteen-year-old kid. She’s into social media, and has finally met her first boyfriend on Facebook. One day, Brianna decided to meet her new guy in person, only to get kidnapped by a ring of human traffickers. Readers follow along as her uncle Dre hunts for Brianna all over town, desperate to bring her home.
I really enjoyed the fast-paced writing of this thriller. At first I didn’t want to read it, because of its difficult subject matter, but I’m glad I did. I learned a lot, as the author deals with these issues on a daily basis. Though there were times when I felt as if huge info was dumped on me, I didn’t mind. Though disturbing, I found this topic to be very enlightening and interesting. Especially since I live in Los Angeles, and was familiar with many of the places mentioned in the book.
Another aspect of the novel I really enjoyed was the characters. Dre is a very likable Alpha Male protagonist. Even though he has a colorful past, Dre is determined to walk on the straight and narrow, which got tested loads in the novel. Dre wasn’t alone in his search. His ex-flame Angela Evans is a tough attorney who was Dre’s match in every way. I enjoyed their scenes together, I loved the direction their romance took. Plus, as an attorney, Angela was able to shed light on the situation in a legal capacity. This was kind of sad due to the information I learned about this issue.
Dre and Angela are helped with their search by a tough woman named Loretha Johnson. Loretha is an ex-prostitute who now is a social worker and runs a home for girls looking to get out of “the life.” With her past, Loretha was able to lend a voice to the many victims of the sex trade, and drive home the victimization of these children. I know I’ll never look at the working girls I see in these areas the same way again.
What I didn’t care for so much was the neat ending. With such a tough subject, it seemed like the story should have ended differently. While I don’t mind the way the novel ends, and it’s not a deal breaker to me reading more books by this author, I just found the ending a bit unrealistic. However, I definitely recommend this novel to fans of mystery and suspense. Though the subject matter is difficult, Young’s writing made it hard to put down.