“Dead Light District” is the second in the Sasha Jackson Mystery series by Jill Edmondson. Edmondson, a Canadian author, has an eclectic background studying History, Microbiology, Cultural Studies and Tourism. She currently teaches post-secondary English and Communication in Toronto.
Edmondson states that the “Dead Light District” was based on an essay that she did for her MA, and “the book practically wrote itself”. I’m assuming that that essay was on human trafficking and prostitution which is what this book is about. While I find this to be an extremely important and timely topic, beware that the language and sexual topic can be considered ‘R’ rated. If that bothers you, this may not be a book for you.
“Dead Light District” offers a fascinating glimpse at what happens when a beautiful young Mexican woman, Mary Carmen, promised a lucrative modeling contract in Canada becomes a slave and is forced into prostitution. What do you do when you are in Canada, illegally with your passport taken from you? How do you escape? Who will protect an “illegal”?
The story begins when a benevolent bordello madam, Candace, hires Sasha Jackson to find one of her employees, a prostitute named Mary Carmen who disappeared after an appointment out of the house with a john. The resulting search takes Sasha into many aspects of both an illegal alien and a prostitute’s life and problems.
The book offers an interesting twist on a mystery as we are occasionally offered a chapter where Mary Carmen, the lost prostitute, is talking. We know where she is and the problems she is facing. The question becomes whether Sasha will find her soon enough to help her.
I love books that make me think and wrestle with morality. This one clearly does. Can there be a “benevolent” form of prostitution that is safe and acceptable? Is there a role for it in society? The other issue is how far one can go before they cross the line of self-defense.
While the book is well written, offers solid characters and an interesting plot, the strength of the book is based on these philosophical questions and the research that went into telling this fascinating story. Edmondson shows extreme finesse at attacking these deep subjects, while keeping the story still enjoyable to read and exciting.
Five Stars out of Five.
In accordance with FTC guidelines for reviewers, I would like to clarify that this book was provided to me by the publisher free of charge. I am not compensated by the author or publisher for my review. All they expect is an honest review of the work.