Finding the body of a beautiful young teenage girl launches Fort Worth Police Detective Jake Hunter and his partner, Billy Sanders, into an investigation that pulls them into a world of human trafficking where powerbrokers buy and sell human beings like cattle.
What started out as a suspected runaway escalates into a high speed ride through massage parlors, brothels and human holding centers. Hunter and his team combine forces with Texas Ranger’s Detective Connor Barkley as the case expands across several Texas cities.
Together, the team follows a trail of evidence and ex-cons discovering that their one victim is connected with multiple others. Their investigation leads them to suspects with big Texas money and connections all the way to the State House.
The story highlights the evils associated with an industry that treats people like commodities, how that impacts society as a whole and how the media shapes perceptions and distorts reality.
The action never stops as the team is racing not only to solve the original murder but to rescue the ongoing victims.
MY FIVE STAR REVIEW OF STOLEN INNOCENCE BY JOE B. PARR
Joe B. Parr’s Stolen Innocence is a police procedural that examines what is probably the most heinous crime that law enforcement agencies have to deal with and certainly the most devastating: human trafficking.
Set in Texas, one of the border states where the crime is most prevalent, Ft. Worth Police Detective Jake Hunter and Texas Ranger Colt Barkley join forces to track down the monsters responsible. Hunter and Barkley head up a team of experienced and dedicated officers, including lead Crime Scene Investigator Stacy Morgan. The fact that she and Hunter are romantically involved complicates matters.
Parr takes a different approach than most police procedurals. He focuses on the terrible sometimes debilitating toll extracted from the souls of the team members as they battle incomprehensible human evil. Yes, they are all hardened crime fighters, but this goes deeper than anything they’ve encountered before.
The trail they follow is labyrinthine to say the least. They are thwarted time and again by bad guys who would rather die than be arrested. Hard to glean useful info from perps who no longer have a pulse. The more evidence of imprisonment and torture they uncover the more desperate they become to bust the human trafficking ring. It’s a race against time to find and save hundreds, usually teen girls forced to work as sex slaves.
Just as they start to make progress, they come under attack themselves. Now they are not only striving to solve the crime but at the same time trying to keep from becoming the next victims.
Parr has clearly done his homework on the subject. His descriptions have the distinct ring of truth but are never salacious. The characters are vivid, the dialogue crackling, and the narrative is like a downward dive on a roller coaster. Highly recommended.
JOE B. PARR is a North Texas based Mystery Suspense writer. As a native of the Fort Worth, TX area, his novels are crime dramas based in and around DFW. Residents of the area will enjoy the familiar sights and sounds. For others, he provides a virtual tour highlighting the area’s feel and diversity.
His current releases, The Victim and Stolen Innocence, are available in both paperback and ebook (Kindle, Nook) on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.
He writes entertaining fiction with an undercurrent of social commentary. His books address provocative issues by introducing characters who provide multiple perspectives so that the reader is driven to explore their own thoughts.