Taking Natasha by Terence Mitford is a novel with disturbing content about human trafficking. It is a mystery novel in that we want to find out if Natasha escaped from her horrible situation. Although this prequel novella focuses on Natasha, this is a prequel for a Mason Cooper Thriller Series so I was interested in the treatment of the character Mason Cooper, a detective introduced in this novella with a bit part to the story.
The best part of this novella is the character of Mason Cooper. A cop only two years from retirement, he is thinking about quitting now to save a marriage that has suffered from his dedication to his police job, one that has left him little time for his family. He has made his decision, he will quit, but there is just one more case to clear up. It might take a couple of months. Nope, it has nothing to do with Natasha or human trafficking.
Along the course of his normal police duties, Mason frequents bars. Not surprisingly, there are frequent bar fights, some of them involving Mason. In this story, there is a description of a fight between Mason and a few bullies. The Mason character goes out of his way to avoid fights although he is capable of engaging in and winning them. Instead, he likes to use analysis and talk to defuse situations. I find this depiction of police coping strategies desirable, good, and accurate. Mason’s handling of the situation is similar to those I used when I was in law enforcement. (NB: I did not have successful encounters 100% of the time). The refreshing depiction of the bar encounter will lead me to read more of the Mason Cooper series.
As to the main point of this story, I didn’t find it all that exciting. Geographically, the story is Eurocentric and tells me nothing that I could not get from CNN. Over the years I have spent in Southeast Asia, I have seen human traffic scenarios more horrible and organizationally complex than anything in this story. I am not trying to downplay the horror that is human trafficking; it is just displayed on a very surface and bland way that doesn’t contribute a lot to understanding. (Another annoying NB: I quit, not retired, from law enforcement due to my reactions to a closely similar incident in this story).
This novel is an interesting prequel without grammar mistakes and typos. Despite the topic, there is no offensive language and very little depiction of sex. I don’t want my kids to read it. They have enough problems of just getting through the day without being introduced to the ideas of what will happen to them should they fall victim to this type of crime.
I received this novel free through the Instafreebie platform and the author’s website.