Book Review: A Trade in Tears


Morag, “Mo” has it all. A happy go lucky, free-spirited student and martial arts enthusiast, she’s on top of the world until she finds Cindy beaten and bloodied in the graveyard – ultimately shining a light into unknown shadows of her own childhood.

Cindy, eighteen with her whole future in front of her, has lost it all. One victim of many in a brutal string of sex crimes that has swept their corner of South East England, the experience leaves her shaken, before revealing secrets she’d kept even from herself. Despite the support of her rich and successful older friend Faye, who has troubles of her own, Cindy sinks deeper into despair.

As Detective Chief Inspector Colin Massey, Mo’s father, heads the special task force investigating the sex crimes, another girl goes missing. Her boyfriend, Johnny, begins to hear her voice in his head. Driven to the edge of his sanity, he teeters between reality and the beyond.

As their four journeys collide in an explosion of violence, love and betrayal, the principle questions are, who can they trust, and, is the face of the person looking back at them masking the identity of a killer?


This novel which falls into the cross-genre crime thriller with a paranormal undercurren novel which was published on 28th February 2020. I would like to thank the author Samantha for sending me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review, as all my reviews I write my thoughts as I progress with the novel.

The plot, straight away being introduced to a few characters and background stories got my attention. I was not sure where it would lead but I liked the sound of their backgrounds and where it will go.

To begin with, we are introduced to this girl-turning 18-Cindy. It seems like a quick flash forward into the future before we go into the present as Cindy is trying to retrace her steps, with the main thing being that she was at her friend Faye’s who seems well-off in comparison.

We shortly find out how Faye came into the local area shortly after and I find her life very interesting, it goes back into the present which I found to be a nice transition. The opening chapter ends on an intriguing note as we are curious to find out what happens next.

The next few chapters we are introduced to each main character this novel involves which I enjoyed as it made it easier to understand each character as some novels have a bad way of letting the reader know all about the characters.

As the story unfolds I begin to really wonder what is going to happen and are they going to get to the bottom of finding these mystery people. I find it interesting how our memories work; if a memory is so bad that we block it out completely and have no knowledge of it, yet during counselling it can be brought out even though the person it’s happening to has no knowledge of it.

I agree with the saying in this: “Odd how life weaves it’s wonderful web”

At times I find some of the characters develop and think of how strong they are. However, when it comes to Johnny, he began to annoy me. I know you are supposed to feel sorry for the guy after he finds out some bad news however I found him to be very naive as he later on, had information that could have been of use to his adoptive father / cop. Keeping that type of information from him I just did not understand why he would do such thing. As for Colin, he could have took more actions, for example, if there was cops constantly body guarding his daughter Morag, how did she end up becoming another victim?

I think one of the main points in this novel is that when rape happens to a person, the family or very close people that are your family are the ones that cry about it the most which they shouldn’t. It’s not them that this tragic thing has happened to. It’s the person itself who was abused and they should really give that person a break instead of smothering them as it’s something that has changed their life completely. They need time to process it and discover who they are and who they will be and how they will shape their life.

Eventually I progressed on with the book. For the most part, the characters keep going on and on about they need to find this mole however it becomes boring if you keep on saying it however not much has happened, chapter after chapter. Precious reading time being wasted on the same chapter on repeat for most of the book. I felt this was unnecessary and a lot of these chapters could have been scraped to get to the point. Because out of nowhere, is when we actually get to the good stuff – with the plot actually progressing at 90%. Therefore this novel gets its rating which is very high however as it was a great plot, I just wish a lot of the chapters where cut and got straight to the point, and I felt that Johnny could have just told his dad what actually happened as it would have been most reasonable. I also found some of the explicit scenes with Faye a bit random however it was an unexpected twist when reading this. I found it interesting how Morag went away for a while to discover herself, those changes in scenery was a good insight to seeing another aspect of this read.

4/5 Stars.


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