Book Review: “Inhuman Trafficking” by Mike Papantonio and Alan Russell

This would make a great film, it is a fast paced legal thriller. The focus is on the grim topic of sex trafficking. “The world has turned a blind eye to these actions for too long.” Attorney Nick “Deke” Deketomis is a senior partner in one of the nation’s largest plaintiff law firms, specialising in the tough cases few other lawyers would dare to take on. One such case is against Welcome Mat Hospitality, a firm with truck stops and motels across the country, which has been turning a blind eye to the blatant sex trafficking going on at their properties for the sake of profits. The Interstate 20 is described as a sex trafficking super highway. The issue becomes personal for Deke, when he discovers his green-eyed 15 year old goddaughter, Lily has got caught up in the tangled web of sex trafficking, tricked by her “boyfriend” into paying off his debt by selling her body. Many of the girls being trafficked are minors and most are foreign nationals in the US on an H2B temporary work visa or illegal immigrants from Mexico.

Most of the action happens in Florida, but the pacing builds to a thrilling Mission Impossible style climax in Las Vegas. This is a real page turner of a book, mixing courtroom drama and undercover sleuthing. The boat on the cover of the book is a reference to a strip cruise, where 5 Ukrainian strippers/hookers go out on a cruise but only four return. The missing girl, Karina, had earlier managed to contact Deke’s firm to enlist their services.

The characters are well drawn, Deke is a passionate lawyer trying to draw attention to the plight of the victims of “inhuman trafficking”. He explains to a junior associate and legal rookie, Michael Carey, retired from the US air force after breaking his back (whose unique skill set proves very useful to the plot).

We need rage. Every good trial lawyer has to channel the controlled rage. If you are not angry, no jury is going to get angry.

It is an entertaining read about a subject that should be addressed “Human trafficking is worse than a sewage spill.” If you enjoy writers like John Grisham, I would imagine you’d like this.

With thanks to NetGalley and Skyhorse Publishing for this advance digital copy. This review is mine given voluntarily.

My rating 5 out of 5

Professional Reader

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