Today’s second team review is from Judith, she blogs here http://judithbarrowblog.com/
Judith has been reading Currents of Sin by Arleen Alleman
I was drawn to the cover of this book; it intrigued me and, together with the blurb, I was looking forward to the read.
The subject matter is dark; human trafficking, teenage runaways, enforced prostitution. It’s hard to read because of the themes and because of the depth and intensity of the writing. Which is to be admired. It is obvious that the author has researched extensively and she brings all that knowledge to the story..
The depictions of the settings and the atmosphere they evoke are strong, well described, well detailed. Las Vegas is revealed to have an underbelly of corruption and danger.
The characters are well drawn, especially the protagonist, Darcy. The reader learns a lot of the background, her family, her previous life, former encounters, her friends and her enemies. The portrayal of the abduction of Pamela, Darcy’s adopted daughter, the way she is conditioned into prostitution is written with confidence. I had no difficulty believing the hopelessness of the situation. I know though, I should have read at least one of the former books to have been able gained more empathy with this character.
The plot is complex and interwoven with the history of all the characters’ lives and the multifaceted subplots they bring to the story.
But reading Currents of Sin reminded me how difficult it is to write a book that is a sequel, or a follow on to a series of books. The danger of telling rather than showing- or of information dumping – is difficult to overcome. I found myself having to read and re-read certain parts to understand how the characters fitted in. Some of the explanations – although necessary in the main to bring an awareness to the situation – slowed the action considerably. I was constantly drawn away from the plot to appreciate and realize where and how, characters and situations were connected.
Yet, as I always say, this could be me and the way that I read. After writing this review I looked for the book on Amazon to find an image of the cover (which still think is brilliant, by the way). There were many good comments on other reviews. There were quite a few five stars. Whenever I see this I start to doubt myself as a reviewer. So I spent a few more hours re-reading. It did become easier but I still don’t think Currents of Sin could be read as a stand alone; there are too many referrals to the plots of the former novels for me.
But if read as a final book in a series I can see that all the threads would be pulled together. It is a good psychological thriller.