Thoughts around “Lost Girls”

I’m not a book reviewer – I wouldn’t know where to start so I’m not going to pretend that’s what this is. It’s just that I recently read “Lost Girls” by George D. Shuman and felt inclined to blog about something that bothered me a little. I just happened to be standing in the checkout line at the library when I saw this book on a rack and decided to pick it up. That’s the great thing about having a library card – you can just pick up extra books like that, for no extra cost!

Anyhow, the book delves a little into the world of Human Trafficking, while still maintaining status as a lighter fiction read. It features a protagonist named Sherry Moore, a visually impaired clairvoyant of sorts who can “see” what a recently deceased person’s thoughts were just before death. I typically have issues with supernatural/ethereal/fantasy concepts such as this in novels, but I tried to suspend my disbelief and forged along with the book.

There are a few different storylines that end up weaving together in this novel, but in short a young girl on a cruise vacation goes missing after being abducted at a port they are stopped at. She is found dead months later, in Jamaica, coincidentally by a member of the local police who recently attended a symposium on human trafficking. American officials from the symposium are brought into the story and, voila, answers come together. Your typical piece of suspense fiction.

However, my beef comes in with the ending: specifically around the character Aleksandra. She is a victim being held by the evil traffickers when the young American woman is abducted. Aleksandra attempts to keep the girl calm and together, seizes an opportunity to escape, and is subjected to inhumane punishment when the escape attempt is discovered. Aleksandra is not a major character by any means, but is threaded throughout the novel and comes into contact with most of the major players. She also figures prominently into the falling action of the novel.

My problem? We never find out what happens to Aleksandra. After the action is over, we go back to America, hear about what has happened to the major characters, but Aleksandra is not mentioned again. Here is a woman who has seen and withstood untold horrors – what happens to her? Does she go back to her life in Eastern Europe, resume her job as a cop and everything goes on as normal? Does she have a nervous breakdown and end up in an asylum? What about the surgeries and enhancements she’ll need in order to look “normal” again? One would think that a novel on human trafficking would at least touch upon what happens to the one trafficking victim who is humanized (and lives) in this novel. This struck me as a large gap.

All in all, it wasn’t a bad read. It’s certainly encouraged me to read up more on human trafficking (non-fiction this time, though) while I’m not knee-deep in my reading challenge. I won’t run out to read the rest of the series, though – especially with this glaring omission in the first novel I’ve read by this author.

And… that’s my 2 cents.

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