The CFBA is featuring the new book Blood Ransom by Lisa Harris. She lives in Mozambique where her family works as missionaries, so this story set in the fictional African country of Dhambizao has a real authenticity to it.
Natalie Sinclair is an American working with the health ministry to encourage vaccinations, wellness, and tracking of tribal groups to monitor their health programs. The country is on edge due to an impending election, and even though the UN is monitoring this one, the history of violence in past voting has left its scars.
When young Joseph Komboli escapes from his village with a tale of "Ghost Soldiers" taking all the people, including his family, Natalie is not sure how to get involved. However, Joseph's explosive pictures force her to find help from Dr. Chad Talcott, another American expatriot who is volunteering at a nearby clinic.
As Natalie, Chad, and Joseph try to get their information into the right hands, there are others in power who will stop at nothing to bury the truth that could change the whole country. Will they succeed in saving Joseph's family, or will they share a tragic fate as well?
There's a lot to like about this book. It can be classified as a "romantic suspense," and Lisa's knowledge of Africa adds a certain flavor to it. There is plenty of action, and there are a lot of surprises for the main characters. It is easy to get into the story and root for Natalie and Chad.
The plot hinges on the idea of human trafficking, the modern day slave trade. Many people don't realize there are more slaves in the world RIGHT NOW than at the height of the African slavery during colonial times. This is an issue that is dear to my heart, and I am excited to see entertaining fiction that can also educate about an important issue of justice in our world today.
Blood Ransom has some flaws as well. I never felt that the characters had a distinctive voice - Chad and Natalie act and think alike, as well as other secondary characters. Some of the plot points get a little muddled, as the scope of the book switches from Joseph's home village to the whole country and an international shadowy corrupt tycoon. It does all tie together in the end, but the premise gets a little strained.
Overall, Blood Ransom is obviously a work of love by Lisa Harris for a continent and people she loves, and issues she is passionate about. It is an enjoyable story that should satisfy fans of romance with suspense or action thrown in. I'll be interested to see what comes in the future from this author.
If you would like to read the prologue and first chapter of Blood Ransom, go HERE.