In the heart of the desert is a city of skyscrapers and unbelievable wealth, but beneath its glossy surface lies the misery of sex trafficking, violence and ruined lives. A brutal world Elena willingly enters to rescue her daughter, placing herself in jeopardy and risking everything for a mother’s love.
Kristina travels thousands of miles for the job of her dreams, only to find that she has been betrayed. Trapped and forced to work as a prostitute; under constant fear of a brutal assault from Ponytail Ari, a vicious man employed to keep the girls in line, she finds herself alone, lost and helpless in this strange land.
When all official enquiries to find Kristina come to nought, her mother, Elena, who has borrowed money beyond her means to send Kristina out, determines to find her and ends up in the hands of the traffickers herself.
Nikki, a hardened con artist and streetwise prostitute arrives in Almina to start a new life and make money. She befriends Elena and together they take on the traffickers with consequences neither expected or were prepared for......
The book is a work of fiction but is based on real stories. Whilst the people, places, companies, cities and countries are all figments of the author’s imagination the events are all true and have happened to someone somewhere.
Human Trafficking is said to be the second biggest International crime after the drugs trade and has an annual value of 31.6 billion US Dollars. An International Labour Organization report states that 2.5 million people are victims of human trafficking each year with 1.4 million of these being for sexual purposes. These victims are mostly women. To put this into perspective, it is equivalent to the entire female population of Albania or Jamaica being forced or coerced to leave and made to work overseas as prostitutes - each and every year.
An interview with R J Flo Q. Why did you choose to write a story about human trafficking? A. I didn’t choose the story, it chose me! I met this lady in a bar. It was a nameless bar in a nameless city that could have been anywhere in this world we live in. I was early and my friends were late and I saw Victoria sitting by herself crying into her beer (it was tequila actually). We got to talking and she told me she was celebrating. She told me how she had been promised a well-paid job in a high end dress shop. She told me how excited she and her family had been at the prospect of real money; money that would put an end to an existence of living from hand to mouth, day after day. She told me of her young son who she had left with ‘babushka’ since her husband disappeared as soon as he was born; how she had dreamed of a university education for her child with the money she was to make. Q. So why was she celebrating? A. On arrival she was locked in a flat, suffered physically and mentally at the hands of her traffickers and forced to work in prostitution. After two years of this they had returned her passport and set her free that morning. That's when I met her. Q. So why the book? A. She related everything that had happened to her, how it works in every detail. This put me in a privileged position and I felt I could not keep this to myself. Furthermore, the more publicity trafficking gets then the less likely it is that a girl will fall into the trap. If a job looks too good to be true then it probably is! For a more detailed interview with R J Flo visit the FAQ page of http://www.rjflo.com/