I am pleased to have Rave Reviews Book Club member, Mark Bierman as my guest this week. Drawing on his work as a private investigator and a correctional officer, Mark combines his unique experiences and imagination to create stories and characters.
His book, Vanished is a remarkable story about human trafficking.
When a shared tragedy strikes the lives of John Webster and his son-in-law, Tyler Montgomery, they seek healing by embarking on a good will mission to earthquake-ravaged Haiti.
The mission quickly changes from benign to perilous after a young girl is kidnapped by human traffickers, and the pair make a promise to the child’s mother that may cost them everything.
The two ordinary men undertake the extraordinary, forming unholy alliances with the seedy underbelly of an impoverished land, as they struggle to keep their moral fiber from unravelling.
1. Giving back: Fifty percent of the proceeds from the sales of Vanished are donated to organizations that help victims of human trafficking.
2. Coincidence? A few months after completing Vanished, Mark befriended a missionary family that was actively helping victims of human trafficking in Cambodia. He now supports them in their amazing work!
3. Change of plans: The idea for Vanished came about when Mark decided to write a magazine article about an actual mission trip to post-earthquake Haiti. The trip had been undertaken by his father and brother-in-law and the main characters were loosely based on them. They each kept a journal about their experiences, and though they did not encounter human-traffickers, a portion of the facts and experiences they logged were used in the novel.
Karen’s book review: 5 stars
The subject of human trafficking is a painful subject to read about, but it is something that we all need to be aware of in hopes of bringing an end to this horrible part of most societies. Mr. Bierman does an excellent job bringing the subject to the forefront through a fictional story. The actions of two Americans in a foreign country to bring one little girl safely back home is the storyline.
I had to give it 4 stars because there was too much detailed description of their hunt through the forest and the mine. All in all, this is a book I would recommend to anyone.
Gail M. review: 5 stars
Really great book about the hidden world of human trafficking. A friend referred me to this brand new author and I'm glad he did. The story is based in Haiti and is not only a good read but is also thought provoking and well written. I highly recommend it and am looking forward to seeing what other books this author will create. Great job, thanks!
Born and raised on a farm near Brockville, Ontario, Mark Bierman’s childhood consisted of chores, horseback riding, fishing rips to a local lake, snowmobile racing, and many other outdoor adventures.
Transitioning towards adulthood also meant moving from the farm into large urban areas that introduced the ‘country boy’ to life in the big city.