Title: Livia Lone
Author: Barry Eisler
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Date of publication: October 25th, 2016
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction
Number of pages: 370
Series: Livia Lone
Livia Lone – Book 1
POV: 3rd person
“An absolutely first-rate thriller.” —New York Times Books Review
Seattle PD sex-crimes detective Livia Lone knows the monsters she hunts. Sold by her Thai parents along with her little sister, Nason; marooned in America; abused by the men who trafficked them…the only thing that kept Livia alive as a teenager was her determination to find Nason.
Livia has never stopped looking. And she copes with her failure to protect her sister by doing everything she can to put predators in prison.
Or, when that fails, by putting them in the ground.
But when a fresh lead offers new hope of finding Nason and the men who trafficked them both, Livia will have to go beyond just being a cop. Beyond even being a vigilante. She’ll have to relive the horrors of the past. Take on one of the most powerful men in the US government. And uncover a conspiracy of almost unimaginable evil.
In every way, it’s an unfair fight. But Livia has two advantages: her unending love for Nason—
And a lifelong lust for vengeance.
I am going to warn you all, this book is not an easy read. Not an easy read at all. The subject of human sex trade trafficking is awful and I am sure it was not easy for the author to write about, much less research.
Labee/Livia was a 13-year-old girl living with her parents, brother and 11-year-old sister Nason in her Lahu village in Thailand. The Lahu people live in the mountainous forests along the Burmese and Laotian borders. Labee has no clue about modern technology and lives a simple, but happy, life. That happy life ends when Labee and Nason’s parents sell the girls to human sex trade traffickers. That’s when her happy, carefree life ends.
She is put into a van with her sister and several other children and is driven to Bangkok and put into a shipping container (yes, one of those metal ones but this one seems to be open at the top?) that is put on a ship. While she is on the ship, the unthinkable happens. The people guarding the shipping box chooses Nason to go with them. Labee offers herself up to them, to protect Nason, and is forced to do unthinkable things to the men. But that isn’t enough and Nason is taken. Only to be brought back in a canonic state (use your imagination here).
She is soon separated from Nason and is eventually rescued when a SWAT team raids where her box is being kept and finds her. She is adopted by the prominent Lone family and soon realizes that her life with them is far from perfect. The only thing keeping her going is her quest to find Nason and her desire to get back at the men who hurt her and Nason. She becomes a master at jiu-jitsu and used it as self-defense one horrible night. That’s when she was sent to live with Mrs. Lone’s brother, Ralph.
While that story is being told, there is also a parallel story of a grown-up Labee, now called Livia Lone. She is a sex crimes detective with the Seattle PD. But she is more than that. She is a serial killer, a vigilante killer, who tracks down the rapists and child molesters and kills them. She has a name for her itch to kill. She calls it her dragon and it was formed during her imprisonment and her time with the Lone family.
She is trying to hunt down leads on where Nason could be. I am not going much into the book from here but let’s just say that there is a huge twist in the book. There were hints as to what it was after Livia came to America but I was still very surprised when it was revealed.
I honestly felt bad for Livia. She was shaped into the person she was because of events in her life. I am sure if her father decided against selling her or Nason, it would have been a different story. But it wasn’t.
The end of the book was gory. Not going to lie. vengeance was served and it wasn’t pretty. There really wasn’t a happy ending, not that I was expecting it there to be one.
Like I said above, this was a very hard book to read. But, in a way, I am glad that the author chose to write so honestly about child sex trafficking (heck human sex trafficking period). More light needs to be shown on the atrocities committed against men, women, and children. If you are interested, here is a link to a site that could really make a difference in eradicating it
How many stars will I give Livia Lone: 5
Why: A brutal look into what happens after a girl is sold into a sex trafficking ring. It shows how events shape a person into something that they would normally not be.
Will I reread: Yes
Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes, but with a warning of how violent it can get.
Age range: Adult
Why: Violence. Also scene of oral child rape, vaginal child rape, and sexual abuse.
**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**