Author JD Allen dives into the Vegas underworld in her new novel Skin Game. A timely story dealing with human trafficking.
Private Investigator Jim Beam is not living his ideal life. He works in Las Vegas mostly chasing cheating husbands and insurance scammers. He drinks too much, and he has a debt to a big-time Vegas crime lord.
At one time in life, he had been on track to join the FBI. That was derailed by an accusation of a crime he did not commit. Even after all the charges had been dropped, it was too late. The FBI has passed him over for other new recruits and the love of his life has left him.
Skin Game finds Jim having to help the ex who left him. He bumps into her as she is looking for her sister. The missing sister is a social worker trying to get women out of prostitution. Everyone assumes her disappearance is linked to a rumored sex trafficking ring. Unfortunately for Jim the crime lord he is beholden to allegedly has a hand this human trafficking.
There is a tension running under the surface across the book. Jim does not want to work this case. He hates is ex for dumping him, for not believing he was innocent. At the same time, he wants to end this sex trafficking ring. The crime he was accused of was a rape, so saving these missing girls has a personal edge to it. Then add the issue of his debt to the person he might be busting.
I like the way the author approached the topic of human trafficking. It has been in the headlines lately. Some authors might see the headlines and just craft some poorly conceived a plot to claim a “ripped from the headlines” story. As the plot to Skin Game unfolds the depth to which the author planned the criminal enterprise becomes apparent. The crime lord is not the only one running the trafficking ring, he has some business partners.
Skin Game will release on February 8, 2019. I would suggest anyone looking for a modern mystery dealing with current topics to pick up a copy.
A free review copy of the book was provided via NetGalley in exchange for this unbiased review.