Sunday, 21 March 2021

Book Review: Traffic by Robin Gregory

Robin Gregory
A Sandi Kent Mystery 


Publication date: 1st December 2020
Series: Sandi Kent Mystery #1 
Genre: Crime / Mystery
Pages: 234
RRP: $29.99AUD
Format read: Paperback
Source: Courtesy of the publisher
About the book
Melbourne Private Investigator, Sandi Kent, has her hopes for an easy December dashed when two complicated cases crash into her lap.

Sandi is hired by her volatile ex-girlfriend to rescue a young South Korean woman from an illegal brothel. And then - in a curiously parallel case - is engaged by a lawyer friend seeking defence angles for a Colombian immigrant charged with murdering a sex worker.

As Sandi juggles the demands of her clients, she becomes embroiled in the city's seamy underworld of human trafficking, drugs and murder.

And soon more lives, including her own, are at risk.

My review:

Traffic is the first book in Robin Gregory's PI Sandi Kent series. Sandi is a fledgling private investigator and supplements her meagre earnings from investigative work by teaching swimming to children.

Sandi is hired for two separate jobs both concerning sex workers. She is hired by her ex-girlfriend, defence lawyer Maria, to interview her client Ricardo who is accused of murdering a sex-worker, and find out more about his background. The second case, where she is hired by another ex, Cassy, who is based at The Fair Sex Coalition, is to help a trafficked sex-worker escape from the people who hold her. But first she needs to find out where she is held.

The idea of two different cases both involving sex-workers landing with Sandi at the same time was a little hard to believe but that minor point aside the story was fast moving and filled with believable danger.

I really warmed to Sandi. We get a fair bit of her personal life and she has had a rough time in the love department. She tries much too hard to please and I feel her girlfriends seem to abuse her loyalty.

The investigations were well executed both in a narrative way and in an investigative way. Sandi doesn't baulk at putting herself in danger to get the information she needs.
I loved Sandi's best friend Stewart. He is also not having much luck with love as his boyfriend is cheating on him but he can't let go. Stewart is always there for Sandi coming to her rescue when needed and getting her out of some sticky situations. 

Robin Gregory exposes the hidden horror of sex-trafficking and the plight of the girls that are lured to Australia under false pretences, then once there are kept under lock and key and have no means of escape.

Set in Melbourne, Australia, Gregory depicts the fickle Melbourne weather with accuracy as we tour the seedy side of metro Melbourne. Each scene is vividly described and it was like having a movie running through my mind as I read.

Robin Gregory has given her readers a character that is vulnerable, courageous and raw. I am looking forward to the next book in the PI Sandi Kent series and I'm hoping Stewart will also make an appearance. 
4/5   ⭐⭐⭐⭐

About the author

Photo credit Goodreads
Robin has worked as a social worker in community health, the family violence sector, and with victims of crime. her day job gives her deep understanding of crime and exploitation; her fiction enables her to solve it.
Apart from a teenage stint in North Queensland, Robin has always lived in Melbourne and loves the city's diversity and many subcultures. Her many overseas travels have involved picking coffee beans for the Nicaraguan revolution, and trekking the Inca trail in Peru.
 Robin lives with her long-term partner and an unpredictable black cat in inner-city Melbourne, where she is currently working on the second Sandi Kent mystery. 

Challenges entered:  Australian Women Writers Challenge #AWW2021
                                 Aussie Author Challenge #AussieAuthor21
                                 Cloak and Dagger Challenge
                                 Aussie Crime Month  #SouthernCrossCrime2021
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  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this, I have this to read also, I'm looking forward to it.