Broken Souls
by Barbara Roose Cramer
Trafford Publishing

"Once again, Devorah had taken away the one thing that Becky loved. Devorah’s style of torture and abuse had won out again. "

This is a work of fiction based in part on the true story of four sisters. Genre-wise, it is a bit of a melding of police procedural, romance, and abject horror story of child abuse. While the totality of the tale takes place over multiple generations, the bulk of the chronicle is based on events that occur during the sisters’ early years.

Initially, a destitute mother is sentenced to prison for multiple attempts to pass bad checks. Her four daughters, ranging in age from six months to six years are placed into in the child protection system where attempts are made to find foster care for them. Simultaneously, readers are introduced to a young female private investigator whose distraught client is now missing. These two sequential, yet unrelated events will eventually interweave and play out over several years. The stories will encompass, murder, prostitution, sex trafficking, alcoholism, drug abuse, police corruption, and more. Ultimately the paths of key players will cross, answers to unsolved crimes will be provided, and long-hidden secrets will finally be revealed.

The author’s parallel plots are peopled with characters that represent the best and worst of life. There are both honest and crooked police, dedicated and indifferent clergy, loving and evil guardians. Cramer writes conversationally, often telling more than dramatizing. Despite a tendency to inform readers of what’s going to happen before it happens, she still manages to maintain interest in the unfolding mystery and the heartbreaking plight of the abused sisters. Above all, this is their story. One that’s emotionally painful, yet one that deserves to be shared.

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