by Charles Martin

I almost didn’t pick this book up in my library. The cover didn’t impress me. I had never read anything by this author, and it was marked as number two of a series. But I am very glad that I did take it out anyway. It was on the NEW shelf. It has a copyright date of 2021, but I suppose it was new to my library.

It is the most moving tale I have ever read of sex-trafficked children and the effort it sometimes takes to free them–not just from the clutches of their abusers, but also from the prisons that abuse has made in their minds and hearts. It is also a tale of sacrificial love by a man who was trained as a military special operator, who became a priest and a writer. This man is Murphy Shepherd, an author, who spends all of his money to rescue children in sexually slavery and to restore them to normalcy.

In doing this he is nearly killed several times, yet he does not kill those who attacked him. He turns them over to law-enforcement. He loses two of his sanctuaries to someone who are trying to stop him from destroying their business.

He has his own personal problems. He seems to lose those he loves. Consequently, he has trouble opening himself up to love, and when he finally does his life is turned upside down. Like the Great Shepherd who goes to search for the lost sheep, he drops whatever he is doing and goes to look for those who are lost.

The psychological trauma these victims endure is clearly spelled out in the pages of this book. It not for the squeamish reader, but it will open your mind to what others may be enduring. It also gets the reader thinking about what life is worth, and whether or not sacrificing your life for another is worth the cost.

I highly recommend this book for mature teens and for adults. It does have a Christian message, but it is not fake or preachy. It is the most honest book I have read in a long time. I fully intend to find other books written by Martin.