Foreword Reviews

Adriatic Allure

An International Mystery

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

Adriatic Allure is a captivating mystery centered in the world of human trafficking.

In Jane Golden’s thrilling mystery novel Adriatic Allure, a human-trafficking gang kidnaps an unsuspecting young woman, causing her aunt to abandon everything and sail the Adriatic Sea to look for her.

One year since they arrived in Bucharest, Jeni and her husband, Zach, are still settling into their new life. With Zach occupied in his new role as a diplomat, Jeni has time to herself. Then a surprise email from her sister notifies her of her niece’s visit. Her arrival means undue strain on Jeni; tension begins as soon as Candi arrives. Still, Jeni tries to help Candi acclimatize to her new environment, and the situation improves before Candi disappears. Jeni drops everything to follow Candi’s trail.

The story revolves around Jeni and Candi and allows plenty of space for their development. Their relationship reveals Candi’s naiveté and Jeni’s protective nature. The strain between them is evident from the beginning; Candi’s unpredictability sets the stage for the mystery. Supporting characters are few; where they appear, it’s most to add to the women’s roles. At first, Zach tries to pacify Jeni and Candi; he later supports Jeni in her mission to find her niece.

Jeni narrates, and her story is full of details, helping to illuminate even conversations with others. Where she outwardly appears to be supporting and encouraging Candi, she is internally critical of her attitude and naïve perspective. Candi reveals her intent to go backpacking in India to find herself; Jeni admits to almost laughing, but her outward reply is casual.

Jeni also serves as the president of the International Ladies of Bucharest, navigating group politics at the same time as her search. This secondary story line is a nice diversion; it balances the apprehension that arises from Candi’s situation, which brings attention to human trafficking. The story emphasizes the cruelty of the criminals involved in that global enterprise and is empowering in its delivery of information regarding the crimes. As a way of tricking Candi into the scheme, the criminals offer her a job as a model in Italy; Candi does not see through their deception. The criminals prove ruthless; they do not hesitate to kill for their gain. The violent and painful experiences of the victims are handled in an empathetic way that avoids too much detail.

Working toward a rewarding end, Adriatic Allure is a captivating mystery that draws upon issues related to human trafficking.

Reviewed by Edith Wairimu

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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