But she decides to go when her best friend from those days, Cate, sends her a message begging her to come. She hasn't spoken to Cate for ten years although they had been inseparable. But a friendship betrayal put paid to their friendship and now Cate is reaching out. Alisha goes to the event and is shocked to find her old friend heavily pregnant. Before she can find out what Cate wants from her, Cate and her husband are mowed down by a hit and run driver and killed.
Cate's death is just the first shock. It turns out that she is not pregnant at all but wearing a device to make her appear so. As Alisha starts to investigate, she discovers that Cate was infertile but desperate for a baby and willing to do whatever it takes to get one. The investigation takes Alisha to Amsterdam where she uncovers a trade in sexual exploitation and slavery as well as baby marketing. Cate had multiple failed IVF attempts but had her last two embryos sent to Amsterdam where they were implanted in a female refugee as the price for her freedom. Can Alisha find Cate's babies? Can she stop this horrific network of human trafficking?
Michael Robotham is a master at the thriller genre. I've been reading his books for many many years and always expect a wonderful read. I was not disappointed as this book was thrilling while shedding light on another horrible example of human exploitation of other humans. Alisha with her Sikh background is an interesting character who has played a role in other Robotham novels. This book is recommended for thriller readers.