Title: Trafficked (The Missing Children Case Files #3)
Author: M.A. Hunter
Published on: 7 January 2021
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers
Trafficked is the third book in The Missing Children Case Files series by M.A. Hunter.
The story starts with a young woman escaping from the clutches of her kidnapper/abuser. She stumbles out of a forest and falls on the road, injuring herself. She’s taken to the hospital and on DNA testing, it is found that the young woman is Aurelie, the daughter of a French businessman. Aurelie was snatched from a beach in England thirteen years ago. Nobody expected her to make it through, thirteen years later…
Emma Hunter and Jack are working together on finding the link between the missing children. In the previous book(s), we saw Emma intensifying the search for her missing sister Anna after finding her in one of the (child pornography) videos.
Emma is looking into the missing persons report of a young girl named Jemima who went missing from a grocery shop in 2015. Jemima’s mum was paying for the donuts while Jemima wandered away. More than a year and a half later, her dead body was found in the bushes – she was sexually assaulted and beaten up. Jemima is found on one of the videos confiscated from a pedophile who is now behind bars.
From the synopsis, it might be pretty clear to the readers this book has some trigger warnings. I have read the first two books of this series – Ransomed and Isolated – and I must say the author has done an excellent job in getting the message out about the lives of survivors of sexual abuse.
The plot of this series is about finding Anna, Emma’s missing sister. In the process of finding her sister, Emma stumbles upon a case the police decided to ignore – abuse at the wayward boys home. Writing about the boys’ experience gets Emma fame. But that is not what she wants. She wants to find Anna. With each book, Emma is one step forward in finding Anna.
In Trafficked, we see Aurelie’s part of the story – from the pain and suffering she’s subjected to by her abuser to finally escaping from him. Her parents are overjoyed on hearing of their daughter’s return. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Emma along with her friend Rachel, Jack and the local DS Cavendish learn there’s more to the story of Aurelie’s disappearance.
Another thing I observed throughout the story is media coverage on a cold case. Aurelie went missing thirteen years ago and is finally found. First a reporter barges into Aurelie’s hospital room on the pretext of being friend of the family and clicks photos.
Another scene where Aurelie goes out for a walk and the journalists are waiting like hungry lions, waiting to pounce on the prey. The author has portrayed the unsympathetic side of (few) human beings. I suppose we all know from the news coverages in real life as to how sometimes boundaries are crossed, just to get ‘the first scoop’.
Leave it to M.A. Hunter aka Stephen Edgar to come up with a twist that you will keep you guessing. I was like, ‘what the heck!’ when the final piece of the puzzle was revealed. The suspense and mystery is sure to keep one on the edge of their seats.
Very well-written mystery with excellent character development. Trafficked is a heart-wrenching, mind-blowing, compelling page-turner. I highly recommend you to read this book. In fact, if you have missed reading the first two books, I recommend you to start from Ransomed (book #1).
I received a copy of the book from One More Chapter in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.