It’s hard to take a topic like human trafficking a write a compelling thriller that doesn’t leave the reader feeling gutted and angry at the word. It’s too sensitive of a topic, and one that cuts us to the bone. That’s why I felt some trepidation when I thought about reading Sin by J.M. LeDuc. I thought I knew what I was in for and I wasn’t entirely sure I was ready to walk down this particular avenue. Still, reviews of this book had been stellar and if the buzz was any indication, this was a book that I simply had to read.
By the end of the first chapter, I was digging the book. The by end of the second chapter, I didn’t even realize that I was already starting the third. Things never slowed down from there. Not only did I love this book, I drank it in. There was a solid mystery to keep things moving, and there was enough action and suspense to satisfy fans of that genre as well. But the heart and soul of this book is, as it should be, its main character: Sinclair O’Malley. That’s alright, everyone just calls her Sin for short.
Sin is a powerful female protagonist who’s just dripping with character. She’s written with a sharp wit, a strong moral campus, and a propensity for harsh language. Add that up and you’ve got yourself a commanding female lead character that will leave you wanting more.
So back to the human traffic element of the story… It’s there. It’s a big part of the story. But it wasn’t at all what I expected. Mr. LeDuc has done a masterful job of crafting a fast paced, plot driven story that deals with a horrible subject mater, while at the same time not getting mired in the what might have been otherwise crippling detail. The key is the tasteful way that this part of the story has been written. Nothing is needlessly graphic—a method used by some authors to horrify the reader. This is not the case when J.M. LeDuc is at the wheel. Sin sees things but the reader is spared the unnecessary description at key times. I believe that was a careful choice on the part of the author, and a big win for the book overall. It opens it up to a wider range of potential readers—perhaps a slightly younger audience—but certainly any reader who is concerned about horrific detail when it comes to the more sensitive subject matter has been spared.
Add all of this up and you have a killer new protagonist in Sinclair O’Malley. This is a great launch for what I expect to be a very successful series of novels. I eagerly anticipate the second release. I understand that it is already in progress, and personally can’t wait!
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