Erin Healy is one of the most fascinating novelists whose books I read and keep a watch out for her latest publications because she writes with such depth of heart. In this book, she crafts a tale about human sex trafficking within the United States. While the topic may cause a pause in some, let me share this with you; there is hope woven in the story. The hope written is not a fairy tale one or without hardships. Some of the characters even in the harsh environment along with the cruel treatment they receive find the reality of hope.
When a brother's sister is abducted, he forsakes his own dreams and pursuits to enter into a dark world that hates the light. Carrying only his sister's picture and due to a lack of response from professionals, Chris begins a journey to find his sister. Along the way he begins to understand that he can save more ensnared in the dark than just his sister. With two college buddies, they start a not for profit organization. I won't reveal the name of it, but will share with you it came from Chris seeing what grows only in California after a wildfire. Got your attention don't I?
The story spreads from there to a world with mystery. As the tale progresses, the twists and turns of the story will keep the audience turning pages for hours. When the bullies subjecting women to slavery are confronted, some women begin to fight back with the hope they will be rescued. The once enslaved become redeemed, renewed and encouraged to love again with the strength that comes from believing in one who gave his life so others could live.
Erin's recent novel was very enjoyable and thrilling to read. She has another book set to come out in the Fall of 2014 called Motherless. Personally, I cannot wait to read it and share with you all so that you might read it and share the story with people you meet, family or friends. The truth that one life can change many is very persistent throughout the story. It serves as a reminder to all of us that we too can be conduits that God's love flows through to reach others. His love that draws them to Himself and redeems what sin has stolen and evil longs to keep others from seeing_hope.
Erin Healy in her new book "Stranger Things" published by Thomas Nelson brings us into the life of Serena Diaz.
From the back cover: In the burnt-out hollow, a house of dark secrets and an eerie beauty beckon.
There, a stranger dies to save Serena's life.
Serena Diaz's life is imploding.
A troubled student has accused the young biology teacher of sexual misconduct, cutting off her promising career just as it was starting to blossom. But that's just the beginning of Serena's problems.
When a therapeutic walk in the woods leads her to a ruined house overtaken by criminals, Serena is assaulted and finds herself witness to the senseless murder of the one man who tries to help her.
Hurled into a world of false accusations and hounded by the press, Serena must confront evil itself to unravel the mysterious visionsâ€”and terrifying dangerâ€”that pursue her. But she can't ignore the most haunting question: Why would a mysterious stranger give his life to save hers?
The answer, if she can find it, will point the way to her freedom from evil men in a lascivious trade.
If the great director Alfred Hitchcock were still alive then I am sure he would be drawn to "Stranger Things" to make a movie out of his way. This is his kind of story. Serena is an innocent. She has been falsely accused and is out walking and almost gets killed when she stumbles upon criminals. Now she has to look into what she saw and dealt with in order to bring about justice. This is a book about human trafficking, the buying and selling of others. I cannot imagine what it must feel like to be torn from your home and sold into a stranger's house with his wants and needs. Ms. Healy does an admirable job of trying to show what is going on. What can one person do in the face of this terrifying criminal activity? You have to read this book to find out. "Stranger Things" is most definitely a thriller and, I would say, Ms. Healy's best work to date. Be prepared to have your nerves stretched to the breaking point as you read this book. "Stranger Things" is a really enjoyable read that makes you root for the wonderful characters.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
If your looking for a book to literally grab you by both hands and refuse to let go until the last page is read - then look no further.
Stranger Things starts out straight forward enough. School teacher give student a grade he doesn't like so he decides to discredit her in one of the most devastating ways possible - accusing her of sexual misconduct.
Her career and life now lying on ruins around her, Serena retreats to a quiet spot near her home never dreaming that what follows will change her direction in life forever.
What would you do if a total stranger steps into the path of a bullet meant for you? Dying and you never knew his name?
Serena soon learns that there is far more to this than initially meets the eye. Just what's going on at this derelict house in the middle of nowhere and why does it produce the most bizarre visions of both restored house and people who aren't really there.
With no one to trust and the web of deceit growing by the day, Serena must find a way out of the mess her life has become. But with mounting stakes and bodies piling up, will this be a happy ending or not?
Gripping and challenging on a gritty subject of human trafficking and sex trade this is not for the feint hearted but a satisfying and mind bending read all the same.
"Stranger Things" by Erin Healy is a suspense-thriller with just a touch of the supernatural. And though there aren't any wild car chases, it reads like a great action-adventure movie with new plot twists around every curve, everyone seeking the truth and justice, and no one trusting anyone. Healy says the story was born of her pastor's question, "If a stranger gave his life for you, how would that change your life?" In this book as stranger does give his life for Serena, the main character, who quickly discovers this stranger has been giving of his life for years to rescue one young woman after another from a vast human trafficking ring. Now Serena has the opportunity, even the obligation, to help at risk to her own lifeâ€”or maybe to save it.
Aside from the suspense side of the story, I loved the themes Healy worked in. Christopher, the stranger, originally sets out to rescue his sister, yet comes to realize that every victim is his "sister" and slowly draws the people around him into his mission to rescue them allâ€”one at a time, if necessary. His philosophy becomes: if everyone would just look out for one other person, everyone would be okay.
There is also a theme of calling represented by the Safe House and the Station Fire house, "thin places" where people get a supernatural sense of purpose for their lives. They just have to learn to pay attention to discover what their experiences mean. Healy doesn't mention God, but His direction is clear.
Finally, there's the theme of beauty growing out of destruction represented by the Fire Followers, a variety of California Poppy which only grows after a fire has come through. This theme gives us hope for all the victims in the book and for life's real victims, too.
I was totally drawn into this book and am happy to recommend it. Thank you Thomas Nelson Publishers for sending a complimentary copy for this honest review.
Serena Diaz's career as a successful teacher falls apart when she is accused of molesting a male student, Brock. He's angry because the low grade she gave him means he won't get the scholarship to Cornell. Told to stay away from the high school campus, Serena takes her sketching pad and heads for the hills. She stumbles upon a human trafficking exchange, resulting in the death of a man and a life of terror for her.
This is a suspenseful novel. Serena is a feisty woman who wants to understand the man who died protecting her. She also wants to understand why her student is doing such a horrible thing to her. Trying to get to the truth entangles her in a web of lies so thick she may not escape alive.
True to Erin's form, this novel is a meeting place of the natural and the supernatural worlds. Like the Celtic "thin places," there is a burned out house in the novel where some see the supernatural invading the senses. It made me wonder if sometimes we miss the true reality of a place or event because we are so fixated on the physical reality of things.
This is a very good novel. It rips at your heart to read about the girls being kidnapped and horribly mistreated. While the story flows well, it is a hard one to read - not because of the writing style but because of the subject. The end makes it worthwhile, however.
In her Author Note, Erin points out that human trafficking has risen tho third place in the world's ranking of the fastest growing illegal industries, behind drugs and weapons.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.