Wednesday, November 21, 2012
The Bracelet by Roberta Gately
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: Nov. 6, 2012
Abby Monroe is a woman looking for a mission. Losing her job and longtime boyfriend in one fell swoop sends her running as far away as possible. When a job for the evaluating a UN immunization program in Pakistan opens up, she jumps at the opportunity. Despite all the warnings about her safety, Abby feels the job is the best opportunity to get back on track.
After making a short stop in Geneva at UN headquarters, she will be on to Pakistan. Life is relatively uneventful until her last day in Geneva. The day before leaving for Pakistan, she overhears an argument during her morning jog. Suddenly, she observes a woman being tossed over a balcony. Ducking behind a bush, she see the killer remove a very distinctive bracelet from the woman's body. When she gets the police to come back and look for the woman, the body is gone. She starts to wonder if she hallucinated the whole thing.
In Pakistan, she arrives at the UN staff house and meets Najeela, the local helper, and Hana, the housekeeper. Immediately, she is overwhelmed by Najeela and her flighty manner. She accidentally offends Hana the housekeeper by assuming she couldn't understand English. Seeing the conditions in the refugee camp, breaks her heart. The minimum of staff to run the office in such a busy and needy place overwhelms her.
Still having nightmares about the incident in Geneva, Abby is more than a little reluctant to be interviewed by a New York Times reporter. Nick finally wears her down and she agrees to the interview. Eventually over time, he introduces her to Zara who runs a safe house for women rescued from the sex trade. A whole new world is opened to Abby and she starts to feel driven to help. Nick lets her in on his secret reason for being in Pakistan, an expose on the sex trafficking trade.
While Nick is investigating her story of the woman's murder in Geneva, powerful people in Pakistan and Geneva realize they are about to be exposed as part of the sex trafficking rings. Abby and Nick are in extreme danger due to the story and the murderer from Geneva tracking Abby to Pakistan. Things get even tighter when Abby realizes that she has a connection to people close to the murderer. Running for their lives, Abby and Nick are forced into direct confrontation with the murderous mastermind of the ring. Only sheer luck keeps them alive to tell the tale.
The Bracelet is a great read with a deep message. Roberta Gately worked with refugees and incorporated her experiences and the stories she heard into writing this tale. You can feel Abby's compassion for the women she meets and the way she treats them with dignity. It's also great to see her growing relationship with Nick and how it develops from irritation to companionship. The revelations at the end of the story show how everyone wear two faces. All in all the Bracelet is a worthy read.
**This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.**