Following a small courthouse wedding, criminal defense attorney Adam Kennedy and his bride Ellen, a high-school teacher and tennis coach, set sail for a weekend, honeymoon cruise to Kelleys Island. Their idyllic bubble bursts when hijackers board their sailboat in the middle of the night and order them at gunpoint to make it to a rendezvous point before daylight, or die. While fighting terrible weather conditions on Lake Erie, Adam and Ellen are shocked to discover that the contraband they are transporting is not drugs, as they suspected, but two teenage girls. The realization that they are unwilling participants in a human trafficking scheme forces them to confront an agonizing decision when, with time running out, the opportunity to save themselves presents itself. Can they live with themselves if they walk away, or do they stay and risk their own lives, on the off chance that they can rescue these young women, whom they barely know, from the horrors of life as sex slaves?
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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
Imagine you have just got married and are enjoying a honeymoon on your sailboat when the next thing you know is that you’re being forced to alter course and make an unacceptable delivery at gunpoint. Charles Abood explores this dilemma in Anybody's Daughter. The cost of failing to comply is death. How do you get out of the situation when you can’t exactly jump overboard and swim to shore in stormy lake waters, and just what is it you are being forced to deliver? Drugs? But you’re a respected lawyer and your wife is a schoolteacher, not criminals. If you don’t get killed you could end up arrested. Is there any way out of this situation? Using their combined intelligence and human decency, but at great danger to themselves and others on board, Adam and Evelyn find a solution. Though lives are indeed lost in the rather bloody conclusion, important lives are saved.
Anybody's Daughter is a ripper of a read, filled with so many unexpected twists that it’s impossible to stop turning the pages - definitely my kind of thriller. I love a book that moves quickly, doesn’t slow me down with paragraphs of description, has realistic characters with strong emotional appeal and with whom I easily identify, and then brings it all together cleverly with credible plot events. This book does all of that in a fast-paced 251 pages. Readers will close the book still asking themselves what they would do if faced with the choice of saving others or saving themselves. It’s a universal theme neatly explored through an important contemporary social issue - human trafficking - in a most pleasing thriller. Well done, Charles Abood.