I’ll be honest with you—I’m no hero. Sure, the media tries to brand every Navy SEAL as some kind of Batman dressed in cammies. There’s even a line in one of our cadences: Superman is the man of steel, he ain’t no match for Navy SEAL. You’ve seen the movies—we’re infallible, invaluable, invincible. But that night, the one you read about in the papers … all I really wanted to do was get laid.
One harmless fuck with an Aruban whore, no strings attached. I picked her out of a lineup—wild, dark hair, long legs and a crooked smile. After she sucked me off, I relaxed back onto the creaky, cum-stained cot, thankful for the blissful moments she gave me when I actually forgot for a second the faces of my buddies who died because I made the wrong call, the tears of the children I couldn’t save, and the eyes of the enemies I slaughtered during their last seconds of life.
But before I left, her hazel eyes peered into my soul. She whispered in a distinct Californian accent, “My name is Annie Hamilton. I’m an American citizen. I was kidnapped on spring break five years ago. You’re my last hope. Please save me.”
One desperate plea. This wasn’t a Hollywood blockbuster or a New York Times best-selling thriller. I knew this time there was no room for excuses, no margin for errors. I had one chance to put on the cape and be her hero.
This book wasn't perfect by far but it drew me in from the first page on and kept me glued to my reader. I loved the story even though Patrick was not a hero who was easy to love but he grew on you, with every page and with every step toward Annie's rescue it was easier to like him. He was never a "bad guy", simply one who made bad choices and, well, I was very upset when I found that a woman is a woman and not a whore no matter what the circumstances when she is an American as in "an American woman in contrast to a native woman".
As I said, the hero definitely wasn't perfect but I think you got that by reading the blurb, didn't you?
Why I was captivate by the book despite a lot of things that really annoyed me - well, there is nothing about sex trafficking that can't annoy you. It's people like Patrick who don't mean harm but who enable this business, who represent the market and those others, the victims, they suffer for it.
It's people who -unlike Patrick- don't go back and help those victims or at least tell about them and their fate so that somebody else may go and find them who make this system profitable and who condemn people to a life in hell.
And that's why Patrick grew on me. He made mistakes but he went back, he brought Annie back and he is at her side and helps her. Yes, he has a problem with her past but he is honest with himself and he is able to work it out and accept her past.
Annie, well, life definitely was hell for her but she is strong and she is able to overcome her experience. Sure, she can't undo it, it will always be a part of her life and will probably haunt her forever but she learns to live with it.
Perhaps things are a bit easier for her than for vicitims of sex traffick in real life but you could feel her pain and her terror and - well, it is a book, isn't it? So some liberties are justified, I think, especially as I think that it is important to show that there is a life or at least a possibility of a real life even after an ordeal like that.
For those of you who want to listen to his full speech:
About THORN, the "Digital Defenders of Children, driving tech innovation to fight child trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children" - and a group supported and founded by Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher among others.
“WHILE OUR WORK IS ABOUT TECHNOLOGY, IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT THIS IS A HUMAN ISSUE.
WE ARE TALKING ABOUT SOMEONE’S CHILD, SOMEONE’S SON OR DAUGHTER, SISTER OR BROTHER.”