Title: Flesh Market
Author Name & Publisher: Kate Lowell (Loose ID)
Publication Date & Length: November 10, 2015 – 75,000 Words
Special Agent Leo Gale is up a creek. A year and a half of deep cover is about to go up in flames. He needs help – something, someone to salvage the operation and save the lives of untold numbers of trafficked teenagers.
But he wasn’t expecting the partner they sent, or his own gut-punch of a response to the man.
Julian worked hard for that FBI Honors Internship. It was supposed to be a foot in the door. He’d never expected it to catapult him into the middle of a major undercover operation. Yet here he is, sleeping on a filthy mattress and using every trick in the book to avoid torture—and worse. He’s never felt so scared, or so alive, in his entire life, and he’s not sure if it’s the danger, or Leo, that’s making his heart race.
There’s no time to think about it, though. The operation is heating up, and Leo and Julian are running out of time and options. As choices become more difficult, they must find a way to take the traffickers down, or risk becoming just another set of organs for sale.
First I want to say that there can be triggers here for rape, abuse, murder and sex trafficking.
What do I say?? It took me a while to read this book because I had to keep taking breaks just to deal with all the abuse and rape. This is my first book by Kate Lowell and I loved it. Ms. Lowell writes in a way that just draws you into the story. There were many characters and it was sometime had to keep up with them as they came and went, but that would be typical for this type of book that deal with sex trafficking. I loved Julian and Leo and had an immediate connection with Julian. Julian’s character was very well developed whereas Leo was not as developed. What we saw of Leo was mostly his undercover personality, although we did get a quick glimpse at the end of the book. I am looking forward to the next installment.
This was an action packed story. It had a lot of components that were all moving at once, but somehow didn’t seem too cluttered of a story. I really enjoyed the fact that the reader had a connection to Ethan. It was a little bit like Schindler’s list – looking for someone, just like everyone else in that film. It helped me feel more connected to the story.
I enjoyed Julian and his attitude towards what was being asked of him. I wish that we had been given more of his back story – we were given snippets, but not enough to really develop anything substantial. He was a motivated book and numbers guy who found himself thrust into a situation that he was unprepared for – he found himself attracted to his handler and he was told that he had to perform, or else.
There was not very much emotion in this story, but Lowell was able to convey some of the emotions that Julian felt during very specific parts of the story. It seemed that Lowell wanted there to be more romance involved, but the romance for me was just a side note and one that I did not feel really added to the story. It was almost an afterthought – how can a relationship form during the most intense experience of a young life? Can it succeed? Is it real? Those were all questions that Lowell answered to an extent, but I felt that the love story did lack development.
Then you have Leo. All we really know of Leo is that he is a capable undercover agent who is trying his damnedest to save all of the children who are being tracked and killed. There seems to be little character development for him – and you don’t really get to see his “reality” character, only his undercover one.
Overall, this was a strong thriller, but it did leave the door open for more. Hopefully we find out more about this ring and where they scattered to in the next installment.
So I will be honest and say I love crime books and books with a lot of action but this one was just not for me.. This is were I will give a warning that parts of this book may be hard for some to read.
This book was just so confusing trying to keep up with everything that happened and the shifting POV’s. Now there is a line with what I am comfortable reading and what is not comfortable for me to read at all. There were a few parts in this book that were uncomfortable for me to read.
I really did not see these two MC’s fitting well together at all with some of the things that had happened to them in this book.
Julian went undercover as being kidnapped by Leo who is also undercover trying to stop this teen trafficking ring. I thought some things in this book were glossed over like what had happened to Julian and he got over some of it a little faster then I thought was normal..
I did like were the author was going with this story but I really felt no connection between these two MC’s, some of this book was also so confusing and I had a hard time wrapping my head around some of what happened. So I am sad to say this but this book was just not for me…
This book started off really slow for me, so slow I almost gave up. The story is about a special agent deep undercover involving prostitution, organ harvesting, human sales, traffic teens, etc. The FBI sends in help by the way of a civilian who fits the profile of some of the targets. There are a few graphic scenes but nothing too bad. The story seemed to go too slow for me. While there was a relationship between the special agent and the civilian I couldn’t really feel the connection. Then when things finally come to an end they drag things out over a few years to get a final conclusion to the special agent/civilian relationship. Wasn’t really for me, too slow and not enough action but I am sure others will enjoy it.
Inside the bathroom, DeGraff peered behind the door and moved an OUT OF SERVICE FOR CLEANING sign from the back to the front.
Julian was at the sink at the far end of the room, staring into the mirror with water dripping off his face. DeGraff stepped into one of the stalls, and Leo went to wash his hands at one of the other sinks. Julian glanced up at him, then tore off some paper towel and wiped his face dry. He tossed the towel in the overflowing garbage can and slunk past Leo with all the angsty self-consciousness of a hormonal teenager.
Leo wished he had time to appreciate the performance, but he had a job to do. As Julian passed him, Leo spun and grabbed him from behind, pinning Julian’s arms to his side and covering his mouth. Julian made a startled noise, muffled by Leo’s hand, and began to thrash. He kicked Leo painfully in the shin, but by then DeGraff was out of the stall and had jabbed his syringe into Julian’s shoulder. Leo fought the young man down to the floor while DeGraff stood watch by the bathroom door. Five tense minutes later, Julian was completely spaced out, limp as a rag in Leo’s arms.
1) Can you describe in detail what your writing environment is like?
Messy? When I’m writing, especially when I’m in that last push down to the end, I get very focused. Housework tends to go by the wayside, and I end up with piles of dirty clothes and dishes that build up until I stack them in a crate and haul them downstairs.
The room itself is pretty nice. It’s sky blue, with clouds sponged onto the walls and stuffed monkeys hanging from plastic vines draped around the room. There’s a bed and a long, narrow desk with two screens and plenty of drawers for storage. I have two white boards above the desk for making editing notes as I go through a manuscript, and corkboard all around them for notecards and other random inspirational stuff. And, there’s generally a cat, either on the bed, or in my lap. Sometimes the cat is black and white, and sometimes it’s tortoiseshell (change is good, right?) And coffee. There’s always coffee.
2) Is there one of your characters that you relate to (from any of your works)? Why?
I think, if there’s any character I feel I relate to the most, it’s actually Glyn from Bite Me Tender (though Julian comes a close second). But Glyn has this front he puts up, and he feels things deeply and sharply, but he hates anyone to know that, even Levi. The snark and the sarcasm–that’s partly just a smart man dealing with his inability to integrate into the people around him, and partly because he’s not sure he really wants to integrate, in case anyone gets too close and finds out all his secrets.
But Julian’s tendency to rush headlong into things, and to be convinced he can do anything–yeah, that hits pretty close to home too. 🙂
3) If you couldn’t be an author, what would you do instead?
I’m actually in the process of dipping my toes in the waters of software engineering. Right now, we’re working in java, which hates me, but that’s because all my previous programming experience was in Basic and Fortran–totally different animals. At this very moment, I’m ignoring my homework while hanging out in the computer science lounge at school and eavesdropping for plot bunnies.
4) Is there anything that you learned during the writing process that you wish you had known before hand?
I learned that I can actually outline without killing the story. All my previous experiences with outlining had ended with a trunked story and a frustrated author. But this time, it all came together, and my outline was a huge help. I wish I’d had this for other stories, stuff that’s been started and has stalled out because I’m not sure where I want to go with it.
Someday, I’ll have to come back to them and see if I can outline them to completion.
5) Is there anything that you wish you could change about your book now that it is out?
Not so much this book, but I would like to have the second one finished, because I always come up with awesome ideas during the second book that would have been fantastic seeded into the first one. And then I have to find some way to introduce the fantastic idea that doesn’t cause continuity problems with respect to the first one. So there will be some things that I’ll wish I could change. Maybe if I ever do a second edition…
6) How do you come up with new ideas for your story?
How do you not? There’s so many ideas out there, just waiting to meet their future partner or partners (most of my ideas are polyamorous).
7) What’s next for you as a writer?
The next thing being written is the sequel to Bite Me Tender. I’m playing with Glyn’s emotions and happiness again, and offering him a choice he’s so desperately tempted to accept, and is absolutely terrified of the consequences of.
8) Where do you live? Do you think this influences how or what you write?
I live out in the country on the east coast of Canada. We get a lot of snow here, and winters can sometimes be ridiculous (I have pictures on my blog of some of the snow we had last winter. Crazy). Most of my stories are based in places where it gets cold in the winter and winter, in fact, often plays a role in moving the plot along.
9) What is your favorite genre outside of the one you write in? Why?
I like most genres equally. I would say thriller or mystery, and science fiction and fantasy.
10) Do you have any vices? Shoes, coffee, shopping…etc?
Coffee, definitely. Good scotch. Fine dining. Books. Paper and pens. Technology.
Wow, I’m really vice-ridden, aren’t I?
Kate lives on the east coast of Canada, in an old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. She has one horse now, who still has medical issues, and three cats, all of which still have mental issues. She still refuses to get a dog, because who knows what would be wrong with it?
Kate loves to read and write. She also likes playing with computers and is going back to school to do a programming degree, just for giggles. Or the opportunity to take over the world. (Oh, who are we kidding? Think of all the work that would mean.) She also likes pictures of pretty men and keeps many of them on her computer. (The pictures, not the men.) She would dearly love a cabana boy to mow her lawn and maybe rub her shoulders after a long day of making men fall in love with each other, then cackling evilly and raining frustration and danger on them.