Title: Abaddon’s Locusts (A BJ Vinson Mystery #5)
Author: Don Travis
Publisher: DSP Publications
Release Date: January 22, 2019
Page Count: 293
Reviewed by: Kristin F.
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.0 stars out of 5
When B. J. Vinson, confidential investigator, learns his young friend, Jazz Penrod, has disappeared and has not been heard from in a month, he discovers some ominous emails. Jazz has been corresponding with a “Juan” through a dating site, and that single clue draws BJ and his significant other, Paul Barton, into the brutal but lucrative world of human trafficking.
Their trail leads to a mysterious Albuquerquean known only as Silver Wings, who protects the Bulgarian cartel that moves people—mostly the young and vulnerable—around the state to be sold into modern-day slavery, sexual and otherwise. Can BJ and Paul locate and expose Silver Wings without putting Jazz’s life in jeopardy? Hell, can they do so without putting themselves at risk? People start dying as BJ, Paul, and Henry Secatero, Jazz’s Navajo half-brother, get too close. To find the answer, bring down the ring, and save Jazz, they’ll need to locate the place where human trafficking ties into the Navajo Nation and the gay underground
Book five in the series. I recommend reading these in order for the background information and character building.
If you are new to this series, be advised these are not gay romances per se. There are romantic elements, but the romance is not the main emphasis of the book – the mystery is.
Trigger warning – this latest installment deals with human trafficking and does contain an attempted rape, enslavement, and drug use.
The book blurb does summarize the overall plot fairly well without give away spoilers. When Henry brings his concerns and Jazz’z laptop to BJ, BJ pulls out all the stops to help Henry find Jazz. We see Paul in a stronger role in this edition as he helps BJ investigate. BJ pulls in Hazel and Charlie, his partners in the business, even the lovely Mrs. Wardlow from across the street has a part. It was nice to see previous supporting characters back in stronger roles.
The subject of this installment is darker than previous books – human trafficking and human trafficking on reservations. An uncomfortable topic and Mr. Travis handled it well. I didn’t feel like I was being preached at or obviously education, but the message was still there – human trafficking is happening in our communities.
I also appreciated having the two points of view – BJ, Henry’s and Paul’s worry and interaction with different agencies; and what was happening to Jazz, what he was going through. As I mentioned before, this is an uncomfortable topic, and there is reference to rape, slavery, and drug use.
While I can’t say this was my favorite book in the series, it was still well written, engaging, and thought provoking. I loved the nod to Tony Hillerman. This book reminded me of Hillerman’s books, which I also adore, and greatly enjoyed seeing the influence in Travis’s book. I am so looking forward to the next installment in the series!