*Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Young man is being held hostage. He doesn’t know where he is or how long he is there. A woman uses him as sex slave.
Young woman is forced to work as a prostitute by Albanian mafia in Northern England. She tries to escape. She fights with all her strength. There are dead bodies behind her. She hides. There is no place where she is safe. But she can see the stars again, and the sky is blue.
DI Joni Pax is mixed-race detective transferred to work in Corham. Together with her boss, Heck Rutherford, they investigate a murder in a brothel ruled by Albanian mafia. The evidence leads them to Suzana, young woman that escapes from a brothel. Is she responsible for the killings or she defends herself?
The story started with a very creepy scene, and for a moment I thought that this wasn’t a book for me. But as I continued reading, the story pulled me into the whirlpool of very intriguing events that kept my interest to the very ending. What I really liked here, was that the author did a good research. It happens very often, when the author doesn’t have Balkan origin, and writes about Balkan, to use very unusual personal names for the characters. For example, last names are used as first, not knowing that last names of all Balkan countries have specific endings that distinct them from first names. Also, authors often mix first names from one nation with last names of another. I live on the Balkan, and when someone tells you his/her full name, you know exactly where he or she comes from. In Carnal Acts, the author did a good research of Albanian culture in the villages of rural Albania.
I liked Suzana as a character, I often compared her with a running deer. She is taken from her village and sold as a sex slave in England. She is forced to work as prostitute. Suzana is a fighter, she fights for her life. She is scared, she is not safe, she doesn’t trust people anymore, but she is an honest person who tries to survive.
Joni Pax and Heck Rutherford are an interesting couple, not love couple, but two people who work together. They both have their own issues, fight with personal demons, but work together as a perfect team.
Carnal Acts is very intriguing crime story that covers very different kinds of abuse. It goes deep into the primal origin of the human character. Very creepy from time to time, it shows the other face of human nature, the devil that sleeps inside any of us.
My opinion: 4.5 / 5.