Serena Diaz was one of the fortunate ones. She had gotten a job doing what she loved, teaching high school biology, and recently had begun dating an attorney who seemed too good to be true. But with one fell swoop, in the form of a false accusation, Serena’s life crashed into a thousand pieces. It would take a miracle to put them back together, but stranger things had happened.
It began on a normal day, as most tragedies do, but when the principal called Serena into his office, his disclosure shook her world like an earthquake. And as with real earthquakes, it came fully loaded with catastrophic aftershocks. One of her students had accused her of sexual misconduct, a false allegation that both sickened and angered her. But in the midst of those emotions came another that, perhaps, only a teacher could understand: concern. Despite everything, Serena was worried about her accuser and wondered what would have prompted him to go public with a horrendously blatant lie --- a lie that would ruin her career, her reputation, and possibly cast a dark light on her parents, who ran a safe house for abused women.
"With STRANGER THINGS, author Erin Healy brings on the action-packed suspense and drama, starting with chapter one and continuing until the last page."
Reeling from the shock, Serena left school and headed to her comfort zone: the woods. It was the best place to think, regroup, and hopefully find a solution to the unexpected predicament that could send her life careening downhill. But what she found instead was a dilapidated cabin, complete with a creepy man and a young girl’s face peeking out from an upstairs window. They exchange a few pleasantries, and suddenly she finds herself in his grip, being forced into the cabin, until an unlikely hero emerges --- one who had been following the unsuspecting Serena. His effort to save her gets him killed, but Serena escapes, thus beginning a journey into the dark hole of human trafficking, lies, and the realization that she can’t trust anyone.
Serena recognizes that the only way to get her name cleared and, more importantly, take down an evil kingpin is to find the courage to take a leap of faith --- a leap that could just as easily destroy what’s left of her messed-up life.
With STRANGER THINGS, author Erin Healy brings on the action-packed suspense and drama, starting with chapter one and continuing until the last page. I applaud her for taking on the issue of human trafficking, which I’m hoping more authors will weave into their novels, and for the depth of research that went into creating this book. I wish I could have found the protagonist more likable, but she often did things that left me asking, “Why would an intelligent person do that?” All in all, however, I found it compelling and certainly worth reading.
Reviewed by Susan Miura on February 19, 2014