“The author has crafted a fine procedural based on human trafficking, and it’s a pleasure to watch his PI, Columbus, Ohio–based Andy Hayes, go to work. …Welsh-Huggins has a way with language…[He] is an Associated Press reporter, and the urge to bring the news is an unkillable one.”
“Welsh-Huggins handles equally well the complex motivations of politicians, social workers, cops—those who are supposed to help victims—and of those who prey on them, such as pimps and johns. This series gets better with each book.”
“Andy is a likable, cynical, at times humorous, and always witty protagonist with a penchant for trouble.”
“Similar to how James Lee Burke treats Cajun country or Sue Grafton the California coast, Welsh-Huggins is out to make Columbus a character.”
As a serial killer stalks prostitutes in Columbus, Ohio, a distraught brother asks private investigator Andy Hayes to find his sister before it’s too late. In a deadly race against time, Andy soon learns he’s not the only person hunting Jessica Byrnes, but he may be the only one who wants her alive. Byrnes hasn’t been seen in weeks following a downward slide that started as a runaway teenager and may have ended permanently on the streets.
Assisting Andy is ex-prostitute Theresa Sullivan. She now works at St. Andrew’s, the mission church run by Andy’s pal the Reverend Roy Roberts, who is less than keen on Theresa reliving the memories that nearly killed her. A local congresswoman making headlines with her work against human trafficking puts pressure on Andy to solve the case, while the police don’t want him near their exhaustive search for the murderer. At the same time, Andy’s hunt for Jessica exposes the buying and selling of trafficked women across the region. Looming over Andy’s increasingly desperate search is the shadow of his most dangerous adversary yet.
Andrew Welsh-Huggins is a long-time reporter with the Associated Press in Columbus, Ohio. He has written extensively on capital punishment, the drug trade, and politics. He is the author of three Andy Hayes mysteries: Fourth Down and Out, Slow Burn, and Capitol Punishment, as well as No Winners Here Tonight: Race, Politics, and Geography in One of the Country’s Busiest Death Penalty States and Hatred at Home: Al-Qaida on Trial in the American Midwest.
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