I just finished reading Priceless by Tom Davis, a novel about sex trafficking in Russia. American photojournalist Stuart Daniels is the main character, whose job is to educate people about social injustice taking place around the world. The following is an excerpt from the back cover:
Daniels’ next assignment carries him back overseas and into the heart of Russia, where an old friend persuades him to help save two girls from a desperate situation involving the Russian mafia. Soon, he becomes a key player in a dangerous campaign to rescue helpless girls trapped in the sex-slave industry. What Daniels encounters during his journey will shake his faith, test his courage, and even threaten his life. Yet as Daniels travels deeper and the stakes become higher, he discovers that hope can be found in the darkest of places.
When I bought the book, the first thing that caught my attention was the title. Victims of trafficking are bought and sold like product, and traffickers determine each girl’s monetary value. This makes the title absolutely perfect. Human beings cannot be assigned monetary value, and the girls entrapped in the trade are indeed priceless.
Davis weaves Russian culture, history, and language into the pages of this book. It is obvious that he loves Russia and is passionate about helping its orphans. The story is easy to follow and is ideal for people who don’t know a whole lot about trafficking and how it works. In an interview at the end of the book, Davis explains that about 80% of what takes place in the book is based on true events. At the beginning of the book, the main character finds himself in a situation that Davis himself experienced on a trip to Russia. Here is a clip of the author telling that story:
I would definitely recommend this book. It made me ask the following questions:
How do we rescue girls without just buying them, which merely feeds the criminal industry?
What types aftercare programs have the most long-term success?
How can we stop girls from being openly offered for sex in Russian hotels?
For more reviews you can check out those by Nora St.Laurent, Deborah, and Carole Turner. You can also check out theÂ officialÂ Priceless website, an interview with Tom Davis, and Children’s Hope Chest for more on the book and on sex trafficking.