Special Agent Leo Gale is up a creek. A year and a half of deep cover is about to go up in flames. He needs help – something, someone to salvage the operation and save the lives of untold numbers of trafficked teenagers.
But he wasn’t expecting the partner they sent, or his own gut-punch of a response to the man.
Julian worked hard for that FBI Honors Internship. It was supposed to be a foot in the door. He’d never expected it to catapult him into the middle of a major undercover operation. Yet here he is, sleeping on a filthy mattress and using every trick in the book to avoid torture—and worse. He’s never felt so scared, or so alive, in his entire life, and he’s not sure if it’s the danger, or Leo, that’s making his heart race.
There’s no time to think about it, though. The operation is heating up, and Leo and Julian are running out of time and options. As choices become more difficult, they must find a way to take the traffickers down, or risk becoming just another set of organs for sale.
Kate stops by today to talk a bit more about her research and things dealing with the real flesh market trade. I highly suggest going to the other stops on Kate’s tour to read more about it. It’s very informative. Read and enjoy!
Hi, I’m Kate Lowell! Thanks for joining me on the Flesh Market tour, or what I’ve come to call “The blog tour that will forever make you question your view of the world around you”. I know it did that for me. Tons of research that went into this book. So many books, so many articles, and over the course of the tour, I’m going to share some of that research, and some of my sources with you. (Please be gentle—it was extremely difficult to condense all that info down to a reasonable sized blog post for each topic. I could have gone on ad nauseum—and honestly, some of the reading was nauseating.) One lucky winner will get to choose any one book from the ones I’ve highlighted through the tour, and I’ll send it to them. (Caveat: I won’t necessarily send the cheapest version of a book, but I do need to keep my pocketbook in mind. And some books may only be available used, or in electronic format. We’ll talk when you win. 🙂 )
The breakup of the U.S.S.R. in 1991, and the resulting economic chaos, had no greater effect than on the young people left to cobble together a living in the remains of what was once a vast and efficient country.
With no work at home, and often families to support, young women become desperate. Recruiters set up in cities and town to play upon the hopes and fears of these young women. They offer assurances of respectable work and the women, desperate for money, let themselves be persuaded.
Once a woman is accepted by the recruitment agency, she is flown or driven to the next stage. It is usually here that she discovers that the job waitressing or working as a housekeeper was no more than a fantasy. Here is also where she first learns that there is no escape, and any insubordination is met with violence before any other measure. Very few work the streets—most are kept in apartments, doors locked, windows nailed shut, goons to keep her in line and to teach her her place. She may be in Greece, Italy, Germany, the United Arab Emirates—even the U.S. Her new owner may tell her that she now owes him for the money he paid to buy her, and she must earn that money back for him and then he will let her go home.
In reality, the only escape is often by dying, or becoming so diseased that she is no longer profitable for the owner. In the latter case, the women are often dumped on the streets of whatever city they are in and left to fend for themselves. But earning out your ‘debt’ is a fiction the pimps use to keep the women docile and hopeful. The victims never truly know how much they earn, and the pimps often use any excuse to add to the woman’s debt—fines for ‘bad’ behaviour, rent and food money, money for normal daily necessities. It’s a never ending black hole of abuse and guilt. The women are kept until they’ve been used up, then replaced, like cogs in a factory.
The johns were no better. As one woman said, in an interview with journalist Victor Malarek for his book The Natashas, “They called us Natasha. They never asked our real name. To them, we were all Natashas.” It was what allowed her to survive—the woman these men did all those terrible things to was ‘Natasha’, and she was only herself when she was alone.
A lucky few actually do manage to escape and return home, but will pay the price of their abductions for years to come, in emotional troubles, in the consequences of untreated STI’s, and in the destruction of their social standing in the community.
While I didn’t address this directly, the method used by the trafficking ring in Flesh Market is based off some of the things I read about in Malarek’s book. I’ve hidden some of the violence behind closed doors, or different character points of view, but it’s there, tucked in between the lines.
Just like these women, suffering behind closed doors.
Recommended Read: The Natashas by Victor Malarek http://www.amazon.com/The-Natashas-Inside-Global-Trade/dp/1559707356
Inside the bathroom, DeGraff peered behind the door and moved an OUT OF SERVICE FOR CLEANING sign from the back to the front.
Julian was at the sink at the far end of the room, staring into the mirror with water dripping off his face. DeGraff stepped into one of the stalls, and Leo went to wash his hands at one of the other sinks. Julian glanced up at him, then tore off some paper towel and wiped his face dry. He tossed the towel in the overflowing garbage can and slunk past Leo with all the angsty self-consciousness of a hormonal teenager.
Leo wished he had time to appreciate the performance, but he had a job to do. As Julian passed him, Leo spun and grabbed him from behind, pinning Julian’s arms to his side and covering his mouth. Julian made a startled noise, muffled by Leo’s hand, and began to thrash. He kicked Leo painfully in the shin, but by then DeGraff was out of the stall and had jabbed his syringe into Julian’s shoulder. Leo fought the young man down to the floor while DeGraff stood watch by the bathroom door. Five tense minutes later, Julian was completely spaced out, limp as a rag in Leo’s arms.
Kate lives on the east coast of Canada, in an old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. She has one horse now, who still has medical issues, and three cats, all of which still have mental issues. She still refuses to get a dog, because who knows what would be wrong with it?
Kate loves to read and write. She also likes playing with computers and is going back to school to do a programming degree, just for giggles. Or the opportunity to take over the world. (Oh, who are we kidding? Think of all the work that would mean.) She also likes pictures of pretty men and keeps many of them on her computer. (The pictures, not the men.) She would dearly love a cabana boy to mow her lawn and maybe rub her shoulders after a long day of making men fall in love with each other, then cackling evilly and raining frustration and danger on them.
Where To Buy:
Loose Id: http://www.loose-id.com/bodies-and-souls-1-flesh-market.html
3-Nov: Jessie G. Books, KathyMac Reviews
4-Nov: BFD Book Blog
5-Nov: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, MM Good Book Reviews
6-Nov: The Blogger Girls, Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance
9-Nov: Cheekypee Reads and Reviews
10-Nov: Release Day Book Blast!
Parker Williams, Bayou Book Junkie, The Hat Party, Decadent Delights, Nephy Hart, Andrew Q. Gordon, BFD Book Blog, MM Good Book Reviews, KathyMac Reviews, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Gay Book Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Bonkers About Books, Charley Descoteaux, Sassygirl Books, Chris McHart, The Day Before You Came, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat, Moonbeams Over Atlanta, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Nautical Star Books, Alpha Book Club, Iyana Jenna
11-Nov: Divine Magazine, Hearts on Fire, QUEERcentric Books
12-Nov: Kimi-Chan, Love Bytes, Havan Fellows
13-Nov: Happily Ever Chapter, Bayou Book Junkie
16-Nov: Inked Rainbow Reads
17-Nov: Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, My Fiction Nook
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