St. Martin’s Griffin, Mar 2 2010, $14.99
On Artula, following a break up with her boyfriend Ryan Sinclair, college student Ashley Hamilton vanishes. Her disappearance occurs just after she meets New York editor Jason Shear who had come to the Caribbean island to investigate human trafficking; his sister had disappeared without a trace while on spring break here in 1987. Jason finds out that nineteen women have disappeared in the last seven years.
Ashley’s best friend Chantelle Higgins searches for her after the local authorities ignore her plea for help. On the other hand Jason agrees to assist her in her investigation into what happened to Ashley. At the same time Ashley’s frantic family arrive on the island; someone murders an informant willing to talk to Chantelle.
This is a superb romantic suspense that looks deeply into human sexual trafficking through the constant questioning by the courageous Chantelle who refuses to stop asking the why. The story line is fast-paced throughout as the frantic desperation of the heroine and the family of the abductee turns into a frenzy of extreme anxiety due to hopelessness as what increasingly looks like a lost cause. Although several late twists detract from an otherwise strong thriller, fans will enjoy this cautionary tale of being smart and safe while on Spring Break.