Slave Girls

Posted by barb on Jan 12, 2004 in Books |

by Wensley Clarkson

Between this book and Witch Hunt (a book I’ve been reading since October, but still haven’t finished), I’m beginning to think that I should give up on true crime as a genre unless someone specifically recommends it.

Clarkson reports 20 cases of women and girls who are forced into slavery. Their stories range from girls sold to slavers by their parents who are then sold to “husbands” or brothels to women who believed they were making their way to a better life only to find that their passports have been confiscated by their new masters who then force them to work to pay off their debt. Perhaps the most disturbing story, though, was of a woman whose husband sold her to his friend. This friend had been finding it difficult to find a prostitute to service him, because of his well-known sadistic tendencies. After “buying” his friend’s wife, he could demand that she come over any time he wanted, and would beat her senseless. The wife eventually killed her husband, and was acquitted of the murder when prosecutors heard her tale.

While the stories were compelling, if frightening, the writing itself sucked. Clarkson needs to learn the old writer’s adage of show, don’t tell. I don’t need to hear him call a man evil and perverted a sentence after I’ve been told the man wants a 12-year-old bride to use any way he pleases. I get the point. He needs a better editor.

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