Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Review: Devil in Disguise by Heather Huffman

Tenacious reporter Rachel Cooper devotes her life to exposing corruption by shining a light on the darker corners of the world - a career that doesn't leave much room for relationships. Even so, she finds it impossible to stop thinking about her unexpected run-in with Conrad Langston, an old flame that never quite burnt out.

When her mother calls in the middle of the night because her sister is missing and the police are offering little help, Rachel immediately turns to the only person she knows she can always count on - Conrad.

Determined to protect her family, Rachel finds herself embroiled in the frightening and tragic underworld of human trafficking. As her pursuit of justice pulls her deep into the darkness, she recognizes and opportunity to re-evaluate her choices in life and take a new path - even if it means walking through the fires of hell to protect the ones she loves.

ISBN: 978-1935961567
Publisher: Booktrope Editions
Date of publish: June 2012
Pages: 204
Format: Ebook

Thank you to Heather Huffman for providing me with a copy to review.

I finished this book in a day, in one go. Okay, I took a break to have lunch but that's beside the point. Devil in Disguise is an amazing adult contemporary, with beautiful writing and an incredibly meaningful concept.

Initially, I was slightly apprehensive about reading this book, since I wasn't sure how heavy it was on the human trafficking part. I was glad to see that Heather doesn't go into the horrific details, and yet she still emphasizing the importance of human trafficking and slavery in our world.

Rachel Cooper is a reporter and America's sweetheart, but isn't on very good terms with her family. However, she does try to get involved in her sister's life. When Julia goes missing, Rachel's mom panics, and Rachel is shocked on hearing the news. She turns to Conrad, her ex-boyfriend whom she still loves. Over the course of the novel, she finds out dark secrets about him and learns a lot more about the human trafficking business.

Rachel is an awesome protagonist, with a strong will and a compassionate heart. She loves her job, and focuses on raising awareness about social issues like human trafficking. Imagine her shock when she is personally affected by this issue. As she says in the novel - 

Like so many others, I shook my head in dismay at the stories circulating the media. I said it was sad. I said it was scary. I never expected it to show up on my back door.

She loves Julia a lot, and would do anything to save her. I love how motivational she is when Julia comes back scarred emotionally as well as physically. This is what she tells Julia - 

“You can’t undo it, but you get to decide if it will make you bitter or if it’ll teach you to love better. Will it break you or forge you into something stronger?”

Rachel is smart and brave, and her courage is really admirable. She's a very likeable person, as you can see from this quote by her boss, Brian.

You have this amazing exuberance that is infectious. And when you smile, you have a way of making everyone in the room, or on the other side of the television screen, feel like it’s just you and them. People adore you, Rachel.
People adore her. And of course, this includes the tall and handsome Conrad Langston, Rachel's old flame. Conrad has had a dark past, but Rachel is willing to overlook that because of his love for her, and his fierce desire to protect her and Julia. I loved Conrad! He was sweet, kind and strong, and he was always there for Rachel. The chemistry between these two characters was incredible. I loved these quotes about them -
Suddenly, they were back to that magical place where no one else in the world existed or mattered except Rachel and Conrad, two halves of a whole who’d found each other again.
 "I have sunshine in my world every time you smile. I’d move mountains to see that smile.”
Conrad says the line above to Rachel, and it was so incredibly sweet! I loved the part where they finally admitted their love for each other. I mentally pumped my fist in the air. In my opinion Conrad and Rachel are perfect for each other and their witty banter throughout the novel added a lot of humour to an otherwise serious concept.

I gained a lot of knowledge about human trafficking in this book, and I knew it was prevalent in the middle-Eastern countries but I had no idea it had so much business in America. It broke my heart to hear about how children are kidnapped and subjected to horrific conditions and then sold as slaves. Most of these kids are found on Internet chat rooms. This just shows how careful you must be on the Internet.

Devil in Disguise is a perfect blend of suspense, romance and action, and it really teaches you a lot about relationships, family, and social issues. I loved the supporting characters in this novel, and my favourite would be Neena Russell, Conrad's sister. She herself has been through hell, and it was amazing how she bounced back from all of that. Heather Huffman has revisited characters from her previous books in Devil in Disguise, and Neena is one of them. I can't wait to read Neena's story in Jailbird!
Veronica and Rick were great as well, and I loved how they're so cheerful even though they are under a lot of pressure. I would also love to read their story in Suddenly A Spy.

And of course, like almost all emotional and touching novels, there is a death. I won't say who, obviously, but it was quite significant and very tragic. My heart ached for the loss felt by the other characters, and I loved that they named a safe house after that character as an everlasting memory. Also, Rachel's speech to the media about human trafficking was amazing, and it's probably one of the best speeches I've read.

All in all, Devil in Disguise is a beautiful book and I recommend it to anyone who loves contemporary novels. This is a very moving and compelling novel, and trust me, you will probably shed a few tears as well!

Rating: 5/5

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