Haunted by memories of an op gone bad, former assassin Leine Basso travels to Bangkok in search of a missing backpacker. With help from an old contact, she discovers the man responsible for the girl’s disappearance is connected to a violent Hong Kong triad and is the linchpin of an extensive trafficking network—both animal and human.
Making enemies isn’t new for Leine, but making one in the triad is—she soon finds herself a prisoner onboard a cargo ship headed for sub-Saharan Africa. To ensure her survival and to continue her hunt for the missing girl, she must join forces with Derek, an ivory poacher who promises to help her.
For a price.
This wasn’t right.
Kylie leaned over the side of the tuk tuk and gasped for air but only succeeded in choking on the thick exhaust of heavy evening traffic. The neon signs of Bangkok’s Soi Cowboy District streaked past at dizzying speed, shifting her unsettled stomach into epic nausea.
I didn’t have that much to drink.
She’d been at the bar for less than an hour, waiting with her friends from the hostel for the legendary lady boys to appear. The thought that the bartender had spiked her beer skated across her mind, but she rejected the idea. Why drug a customer who was obviously part of the backpacking crowd and wouldn’t have much money?
The motorized rickshaw turned down an unfamiliar street, heading in the opposite direction from the hostel.
“Wait—where are we going?” she asked, her breathing shallow. The words echoed in her brain, like she was standing in a hole. Slowly, she swiveled her head. Alak, the guy she’d been talking to who worked at the hostel, sat across the seat studying her closely, as though she were an insect pinned to a bug board. Frowning, she glanced in the rearview mirror. The driver was watching her, too. Dread crawled deep in her stomach, clawing at the thought that the two men knew each other, knew what was wrong with her, expected it, in fact.
I have to get out…get back to the hostel. She curled her fingers around the metal rail that surrounded the backseat and leaned toward the open doorway. I need to call Mom and Dad, tell them I’m ready to come home…
Alak grasped her arm and pulled her back. Unable to keep her grip, her fingers slid from the railing.
Kylie, an American girl, who fled the memories of her dead brother, finds herself drugged, and on her way to be merchandise or cargo while backpacking through the Philippines. Leine Basso hears about the missing girl, but suspects more than a tourist who failed to call home.
Her suspicions lead her to a dangerous crime triad that can deliver anything for a price. This hard-hitting novel does a spectacular job of bringing the issue of human trafficking to life and the threat it poses. Kudos to DV Berkom for making the Philippines and Kylie’s terror real. Having recently returned from the Far East, I can definitely say the author is spot on in her descriptions.
I’m very excited to discover the tightly-written Leine Basso series that packs a strong action punch and follows it with a roundhouse kick. It’s hard to find an action-adventure with a female protagonist who isn’t a video game character or superhero. DV Berkom’s Leine Basso is someone who runs into the fire knowing she will probably die, but does so anyhow. Often, she gets burned.
Cargo is one of the best action/suspense books I’ve read in a very long time. It is also a stand-alone book. No need to have read the other three, but once you read this one; you’ll want to read the other three.
DV Berkom is a slave to the voices in her head. As the bestselling author of two award-winning thriller series (Leine Basso and Kate Jones), her love of creating resilient, kick-ass women characters stems from a lifelong addiction to reading spy novels, mysteries, and thrillers, and longing to find the female equivalent within those pages.
Raised in the Midwest, she earned a BA in political science from the University of Minnesota and promptly moved to Mexico to live on a sailboat. Several cross-country moves later, she now lives just outside of Seattle, Washington with the love of her life, Mark, a chef-turned-contractor, and several imaginary characters who like to tell her what to do. Her most recent books include Cargo, The Body Market, Bad Traffick, A One Way Ticket to Dead, and Yucatán Dead.
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