The Trafficking Murders is a crime fiction novel written by Brian O’Hare. It was already his fifth book featuring Detective Chief Inspector Jim Sheehan. The story revolves around the illicit industry of human trafficking in Northern Ireland. One group of syndicates ships their prey illegally from Romania. Alina Balauru, as well as the other victims, were easily deceived by promises of a better life abroad. Unbeknownst to them, the horror of abuse and sexual slavery awaits at the foreign land.
Another group of traffickers targets Chinese scholars at Queen’s University. From working as an escort to high profile clients, ‘The Shadow’ has turned them into prostitutes against their own will. But the unfortunate death of Cheung Mingzhu and the escape of Lin Hui will lead to their collapse. DCI Jim Sheehan and his team of crime-solvers must find these evildoers before another innocent victim fell into their hands.
The Trafficking Murders was written by Brian O’Hare. This is the fifth book of the Sheehan Mysteries. If I would compare it to 11:05 Murders, this one contains less violence and gore. The narrative may feel less burdening as the author did not include horrible details of the sexual assault done to the female victims. For me, it’s a good approach to avoid anxious feelings, especially to the female readers. Fans of the crime genre would definitely be satisfied with the suspense and thrill this book will serve.
The author focused more on the trafficking operations — how the syndicates lure their victims and how they make money out of it. With that, the investigation phase will be equally engaging. Exciting police procedurals and forensic examinations are present.
As to the characters, what we have here is a great team of police detectives: Jim Sheehan, Denise Stewart, Tom Allen, Simon Miller, Declan Connors, Geoff McNeill, Edwin McCullough, and Malachy McBride. Behind their strong appearance were gentle nature and a genuine desire to help others. The characters are likable and they have been given enough spotlight to showcase their individual strengths. Stewart was the only woman in the group. She and Allen started a romantic relationship in Book One and I’m happy that that remained strong up to this point. Watch out for Matei Barbu too. He’s a minor character, but indeed my favorite.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. Do read this book if you enjoy reading criminal investigation or detective stories. Also, if you prefer content with an element of romance, minimal violence, and profanity, this one is for you.