Fiction about Human Trafficking



Did you know that January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and January 11 is Human Trafficking Awareness Day?

Human Trafficking is a huge industry, in both North America and around the world. With an estimated 40 million victims and generating $150 billion annually, it is not limited to third world countries, and affects people in all classes and industries. Children are particularly vulnerable, especially runaways and those in foster care.

According to US Homeland Security:

“Human trafficking erodes personal dignity and destroys the moral fabric of society. It is an affront to humanity that tragically reaches all parts of the world, including communities across our Nation. Each day, in cities, suburbs, rural areas, and tribal lands, people of every age, gender, race, religion, and nationality are devastated by this grave offense. During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we reaffirm our unwavering commitment to eradicate this horrific injustice.”

Defining Human Trafficking

According to 22 U.S.C. § 7102(9), human trafficking is:

The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

What can I do?

There are plethoric ways to get involved in the fight against human slavery, and I encourage you to get involved in this meaningful and impactful movement. The first step is to believe that you can make a difference. It is crucial to read about and research issues related to trafficking, to familiarize yourself with the “red flags” that are symptomatic of human trafficking situations. Seemingly small actions, including purchasing items made by trafficking survivors, meeting with governmental representatives in your region to discuss their anti-trafficking measures, volunteering with victim outreach initiatives, starting campus conversation, signing an anti-trafficking petition and writing an op-ed on the problem of human slavery, are integral parts of the equation that catalyzes change.

Megan Foo, Founder of Inspirational Women Series and Undergraduate, The Wharton School

DHS is calling for people to wear blue on Saturday to raise awareness about human trafficking. Follow the link for more information on human trafficking in the US and some details about exploitation in migrant worker camps. Tweet using #WearBlueDay

Red Flags

According to DHS, some of the signs of victims of human trafficking include:

  • Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship?
  • Has a child stopped attending school?
  • Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?
  • Is a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts?
  • Is the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?
  • Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?
  • Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive?
  • Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?
  • Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to?
  • Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?
  • Is the person living in unsuitable conditions?
  • Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation?
  • Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live? Are there unreasonable security measures?

Hotel de Jeunesse is a clever website set up to educate hotel workers and others about the signs of sex trafficking taking place out of hotels. When you first look at the website, it looks like a hotel website, but as you read it move closely, you will see something else lurks beneath! Read the signs for hotel workers to be aware of.

Reading Books

I have always felt that the best way to connect to the human side of human trafficking and other social issues is through stories. Fiction allows us to really connect with victims emotionally, taking us out of our own reality to consider others’ perspectives.

Many of the authors below have done extensive research into how human trafficking happens; how traffickers identify, groom, and coerce their victims, the damage it causes, the size of the industry, etc.

These are gritty, suspense-filled stories that will keep you on the edge of your seat and also have you thinking for a long time about the human impact of trafficking. Enjoy and be educated!

Gem, Himself, Alone

I recently published Gem, Himself, Alone, the story of a teen who was the victim of human trafficking.

About Gem, Himself, Alone

Gem has a secret.

Teenage Gem, alone on the street, has survived abuse, institutionalization, and captivity. He has lost everything and everyone he ever loved, but is finally free to build a life.

There is only one person he can count on, and that is himself. 

Gem buries his past the best he can, joins up with the Rippers gang for protection, and does what he has to in order to survive.

But Riker, a vice cop, makes it his business to take away the precious freedom Gem has earned and put him behind bars.

If he can just break Gem’s alibis.

But Riker doesn’t know Gem’s secret.

While Riker can sympathize with what Gem has been through, he can’t let a dangerous criminal run free on the streets.

Riker delves into Gem’s past in a bid to discover his secrets. Can he sort through the tangled threads to lay bare Gem’s past? And if he does, will he be able to put Gem behind bars once more?

Unlawful Harvest

Another kind of human trafficking is trafficking for organ transplantation. Once considered an urban legend, kidnapping for the purposes of organ donation is rampant in many parts of the world today, resulting in the death or disfigurement of many victims.

About Unlawful Harvest

Unlawful Harvest is a Kenzie Kirsch Medical Thriller. If you have been reading the Zachary Goldman Mysteries, then you have met Kenzie Kirsch, who works in the medical examiner’s office. 

This story will take you back to before Kenzie started medical school, to the case that first attracted her to medical investigation. 

When an Urban Legend becomes the truth

Kenzie Kirsch had led a sheltered life; daughter of a wealthy lobbyist, her way had been paved for her, and she wasn’t really required to do much in life. There were events to make an appearance at, boards to sit on, fundraisers to support, but she could pick and choose what she wanted to do and how busy she wanted to be. 

When she set out to find out why her sister Amanda was so ill, she had no idea where her amateur investigation would take her. Amanda’s illness had never been discussed. Amanda deserved her privacy. 

As Kenzie’s questions take her deeper and deeper into the murky world of transplant tourism, Kenzie starts to wonder just what her parents have been covering up, and who else’s life might hang in the balance.

My Family’s Slave

I read this article about Slavery in Modern America a couple of years ago, and it has really stuck with me.

“She lived with us for 56 years. She raised me and my siblings without pay. I was 11, a typical American kid, before I realized who she was.”

Pretty Little Girls

Until you know who to trust, trust no one.

The disappearance of a prep school girl from an affluent family leads to a hidden world of shocking secrets.

FBI Agent Victoria Heslin investigates alongside local police, but the mysteries only get deeper. Why are the girl’s parents so uncooperative? And why are the local authorities resisting her help?

When her efforts uncover a sex trafficking operation, Heslin enlists friend and fellow Agent Dante Rivera to go rogue and try to save the girls, before it’s too late.

Red Heeled Rebels Series

Vigilante justice on a global scale carried out by sassy, spunky heroines from around the world.

The Red Heeled Rebels series features a diverse cast of iron-willed young women from four continents who fight for their lives and race across the world to free others shackled by unimaginable horrors.

And they make the villains pay. Oh yes, they make them bleed in the end.

Beach Traffic

Missing at the Beach – The Ocean Can be Deadly!

Graduate student Kat Benson was excited about seeing her college boyfriend, Liam Cross, at their Tulane University reunion on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Kat’s childhood friend, Heidi is looking for great sex and a fantastic weekend hookup.

But, things turned bad quickly when they learn a friend of theirs had been brutally attacked. Federal and local law enforcement officials are concerned about a vicious murder on the beach and the disappearance of five women.

The Case of Dr. Dude

Someone Is Kidnapping And Trafficking Women

When a young woman disappears after a job interview at a well-known dentist’s office in Richmond, Virginia, retired homicide detective Michaela McPherson and Angel her retired police dog are pulled into a crime that goes far beyond a missing person case. With the help of her close friend, the aging Countess Dorothy Borghase, and Richmond police, McPherson dives in.

Could Human Trafficking Really Be A Problem In The United States?

This case pits McPherson and her companions against evil and greed armed with tentacles that span continents and generations. Russian mobsters are in America, kidnapping girls to auction off to the highest bidder in the international black market. Is there any hope of stopping an underground operation that extends so far and wide?

Desert Rose

In an instant, Jennifer’s life is forever altered.

When her ten-year-old daughter, Sarah, is abducted in Dubai, expats Jennifer and her husband Kevin are thrown into an unimaginable nightmare. With very little help provided by the local authorities and the US Embassy, Jennifer watches her life erode away and the tension in her marriage increase. Driven by rage and desperation, she is forced to make decisions she never thought possible.

An investigation without answers. A cover-up. A conspiracy. A betrayal.

There is no turning back.

What would you do if your child was taken?

A New Beginning

John Hayes is back.

A chance meeting with a fascinating woman has the potential to change John’s life. Could she be the one to bring him the happiness he lost after his wife was brutally murdered? Will it be that easy?

Newly wealthy John Hayes is living an idyllic life in the exotic city of Bangkok. He spends his days keeping fit, exploring the city and enjoying the wonderful food but he is lonely, and when a beautiful woman walks into his life he thinks he has a chance to start afresh.

But with John life is never simple.

A penniless young girl desperate to start a new life, a high flying foreign businessman with a murky past, an alluring woman all come together to test John once again.

Should he get involved and potentially risk his life and the lives of others? Or should he walk away and lose the woman he is growing to love?

Hollywood Sacrifice

In 1984 when Monarch Program assassins track and hunt Glenn, he makes a new friend that could help him turn the tables and become the hunter, but first, he may need to help her. As a struggling dancer at the Hollywood Showcase, Casey’s desperation to raise money for her sister’s surgery leads her into the arms of the same threat facing Glenn. 

Together they discover the evil they face is more horrific than imagined. Can either of them survive? Will they save each other?

You’ll be Safe

After the murder of his wife and unborn child, Jack Bass longs for death. In fact, he welcomes it. That is, until Amanda, his lovechild with Major Lori Darden, unexpectedly enters his life. Jack tries to shroud his new life with his daughter in privacy, determined that the events of his past should not threaten his daughter. But no matter how hard he tries, Jack cannot avoid trouble. It relentlessly pursues him.

Homeless Veterans Are Disappearing From The Streets
After being kidnapped and delivered to an isolated encampment, veterans are given a medication that makes even the most out-of-control psychotic captives turn into walking, order-taking, defenseless shells. They are used as slave labor, exploited then killed whenever the mood strikes their captors.

Despite his best efforts to remain isolated from the world, Jack is faced with a choice between protecting himself and his daughter or helping to save these veterans who are being victimized for profit.

The Career Killer

A public body dump; an invisible killer.

When young women are murdered and their bodies posed like marionettes in tourist hotspots around London without a single witness seeing the killer come and go, the case ought to go to a detective with decades of experience investigating serial murder.

Instead, newbie DCI Elsie Mabey lands the case, bringing with her a ragtag team of misfits and rejects. Rather than the Met’s finest, they’re the “not quite fired” of London policing.

She’s Gone

There’s a thin line between justice and vengeance.

Can a disgraced CIA Black Ops Specialist rescue a young girl kidnapped by a vicious Cartel?

Find out in this action-packed globetrotting thriller.

It’s a race against time as Pete Maddox puts his lethal skills to the test raging a one-man war against a powerful Mexican Cartel with sicario hitmen and corrupt officials from Honduras to San Francisco standing in his way.

Crossing the border into the United States opens up a whole new set of problems for Maddox as a determined Special Victims Unit Detective from San Francisco begins to suspect that a vigilante is out there looking for a victim of the cartel’s trafficking network.

The Lost Girls

This is one of the best books about grooming/luring girls for trafficking that I’ve ever read.

The brutally beaten body of a young girl is discovered in a marsh in Jamesport, one of New York’s most elite suburbs. Police comb the area, while many speculate her murder might be connected to the abduction, six months earlier, of three girls from Jamesport. The FBI has evidence of an underage prostitution and trafficking ring which may be related.

At the request of the FBI, Billy Dee, captain of the Ninth Precinct in the Bronx, head of its Sex Crimes Unit, sends two of his most seasoned detectives to Jamesport to conduct their own investigation: Bella de Franco and Jimmy “Mack” Menendez. They are sent north, back into the land of the beautiful.

Between local politics, fractured families, a heroin epidemic and a dark secret that the wealthy town strives to keep hidden, the unspeakably dark and twisted reality lurking behind Jamesport life is uncovered. As they learn that everything is not what it seems in this wealthy suburb, Bella and Mack must race against the clock to save one last girl before she is sold across state lines, where she will vanish forever.

The List

When Revenge Sparks Danger — Karma is Hell!

When her fiancé is injured in Afghanistan, Harper Drake immerses herself in the military. Now, as NCIS Director, she heads a secret faction, fighting corruption and terrorism—until she’s abducted by a trafficking cartel.
Wyatt Rose can’t overcome his loss—especially after his sister’s murder. When the New Patriots recruit him, he finds a traumatized girl that spirals him into a rabbit hole of conspiracy, drug smugglers, and slavery.

Obsessed with revenge, can a ghost save Wyatt and Harper before her rage explodes, or will she spin them all through the gates of Hell?


Stolen Girls

A brazen daylight kidnapping…

A busload of schoolgirls vanishes and the case gets personal when it’s discovered two of the girls are DS Eli Morgan’s daughters. Will this case tip Morgan over the edge?

A detective haunted by her past…

A teen in trouble with the police that only DCI Bex Wynter believes is innocent.

No time left…

These cases collide when Bex stumbles over two dead bodies and into danger. Can she stay alive long enough to save Morgan’s stolen daughters before time runs out?

30 Red Dresses

I did not expect to be sold into slavery, especially on my birthday. 

While on a book tour in Cambodia, author James Moore unwittingly seeks refuge in a brothel to escape a devastating flash flood. He and his translator witness the atrocities of girls forced into prostitution, including a young child with a special gift. Together, they fight to not only save the girls from the rising floodwaters, but from the menacing brothel owner and his men.

For Alexandra

In this fifth book of The Unit series, author Anne Fox takes you into the hidden world of child sexual exploitation.

Can Hank, Spud, and the rest of The Unit team help with the overwhelming task of helping the abused children? What will the strain of this mission do to Hank and Spud’s relationship?

Concealed Cargo

When Special Agent Clay Jennings and his K9 partner, Ranger, take to the streets of Denver to fight human trafficking, he is shocked by the inordinate number of stolen innocents who’ve been forced into the sex trade. With each new face, his resolve to help these children escape their personal horror grows stronger.

El Clark, a social worker who dedicates her life to rescuing exploited kids from the streets, works valiantly to locate their families or find them a safe place to live while they recuperate. She understands the plight of these young victims more than anyone knows.

When these two champions of enslaved children team up, they discover a web of deviant corruption that reaches into the upper echelons of US politics and society. Adding to the nightmare, a vicious serial killer focused on murdering female prostitutes threatens to pull Clay and El away from unearthing the man behind the treacherous, Colorado-based, child prostitution ring.

For Clay, working to solve these crimes is like taking one step forward and three back until El shares her story with him. Inspired by her bravery and fortitude, he is re-committed to the fight for justice. Clay and El battle against a mountain power and money the height of which they’d never conceived and end up building a strong bond with one another along the way. El teaches Clay that every life they change matters—that they must do what they can, even when it’s only one child at a time.

Tell me what you think!

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