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The Cruelty by S. Bergstrom

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

When her diplomat father is kidnapped and the U.S. Government is unable to help, 17 year-old Gwendolyn Bloom sets off across the sordid underbelly of Europe to rescue him. Following the only lead she has—the name of a Palestinian informer living in France—she plunges into a brutal world of arms smuggling and human trafficking. As she journeys from the slums of Paris, to the nightclubs of Berlin, to the heart of the most feared crime family in Prague, Gwendolyn discovers that to survive in this new world she must become every bit as cruel as the men she’s hunting.

Goodreads Summary

This book has everything a reader would want from a thriller: a fierce heroine, exciting and exotic locales, and fast-paced adventurous scenes. I loved how the author jump-starts the book by immediately getting into Gwen trying to find her father and going it alone (the government would not step in). The descriptions of the places she searches and looks for clues are fascinating. It made me want to visit them in person. Gwen isn't the "ideal" heroine as far as looks go; I really liked that the author broke the typical heroine mold. She often made choices first before thinking them over. Some I did not understand and thought she made a rash choice while others...well, I guess she had to live with the consequences. 

The secondary characters she meets along the way were exciting and fun. They fit into the story well. The only one that felt a little off was her love interest. Since she just lost her father I was surprised she even had a love interest develop since she had so little time. The author does not hold back with the more violent scenes. I did appreciate how he kept it a little more realistic. Sometimes I questioned the authenticity of her character. It seemed like she knew quite a bit for a teenager who wasn't exposed to these types of activities. I thought the ending was good. It tied up the loose ends and set the book up for another in the series.

4 Stars

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