Book Release Daily, a site that features new releases, refuses to feature a book that exposes the plight of #missing #children! In Street Harvest, Book 2, Special #Crimes Team series, I wrote about street kids kidnapped by human traffickers. Book Release Daily feels that my book exploits children.
Here are some examples of what is objectionable:
“Floater down on the waterfront at Ivar’s.” He rubbed a hand back and forth across his short-cropped, kinky hair, a habitual gesture whenever he was frustrated or worried.
As she waited to hear the rest of what brought him to her office door, she wondered if he was even aware of the gesture.
“A boy. Dr. Hutchinson thinks he’s around eleven, maybe twelve.” His lips thinned to a slash.
She knew it was more than a dead kid. The Special Crimes Team might feel bad about a dead kid, but they wouldn’t be involved in the investigation unless it was like little Jane Doe, an obvious victim of a sicker-than-usual pervert. Whatever it was had to be nasty. That was the only type of crimes with which they dealt. The crimes that made veteran cops question their choice of career. Hell, being in SCaT even had her sometimes questioning her career choice, though she didn’t know what she would be if she wasn’t a cop.
A bone-deep sadness shadowed Mike’s black-brown eyes. “He was naked. There were several rings of bruises around the boy’s neck. Bite marks on the backs of his shoulders.”
Her insides twisted into knots. Another one. She shut down her laptop, stuffed it in the middle desk drawer, and locked it. With her cane in hand, she pushed to her feet, grabbed her jacket, and headed for the door. “Damn it! I was hoping little Jane Doe was just the random victim of some perv gone too far.”
Without replying, Mike stepped into the hallway and waited for her to lock up. As they headed to the elevator at the end of the corridor she noticed how heavily he moved, like an old man.
God, he’s not that old, probably around my dad’s age. Quickly she shut down that line of thought. She refused to give a moment’s consideration to the man who had deserted her when she was just eleven, and right after Chelsea’s death. There had been a time when she wondered if her father had left because of Chelsea’s death, if he blamed her as much as she blamed herself.
Forcefully, she returned her mind to the present.
No, Mike wasn’t that old, but the day little Jane Doe’s body had shown up, the years had gathered on his face. Focused on the autopsy, he hadn’t noticed her watching as his body had clenched, and his shoulders had hunched up around his ears as if he expected a sudden blow from somewhere. A suspicious sheen had gathered in his eyes. He had glanced around, but she’d pretended to be intent on the small body on the stainless steel table. From the corner of her eye, she’d seen him swipe at his eyes then settle his face into an impassive mask.
“Are we assuming that all of the children, both missing and dead, are ultimately victims of a #sexual #predator?” Frederick crossed his forearms on the table and leaned on them. His eyes swept around the group until they finally settled on Mike.
Detective O’Hara squirmed in her seat. Her lips twisted like she’d taken a big drink of soured milk. “We know the dead kids are. Jane Doe was raped, sodomized, and tortured. There’s evidence that the rapist used a condom. Prelim report says the boy’s injuries were similar, if not identical. This time the rapist used dropping the body in Puget Sound to get rid of the evidence.” She bit her lip and frowned like she just couldn’t understand the monster they were hunting. “According to Dr. Hutchinson’s report, both children died from asphyxiation after being manually strangled multiple times. There was so much bruising he couldn’t even get a clear size on the handprints. Why would anyone strangle a child one time, much less multiple times?”
“Sexual arousal.” Nita grimaced. “Choke your partner until he, or she, blacks out. Supposedly enhances the sexual high for both parties.”
Mike was glad no one cracked any jokes about the asphyxiation angle. Even cop humor couldn’t dull the anger over what had happened to those two kids. Damn! I’m going to have to get past this or I’m not going to be able to do anyone any good.
“How did you know it was a police van?” Dr. Nelson asked gently.
“It was black, like they are sometimes, and on the side it had the logo for the Seattle police, and when they threw me inside, there was…there was a heavy wire mesh between the back and the front, like the cages in cop cars.”
“Were there seats?”
He shook his head, and blinked rapidly several times. A tear leaked from one eye and his chin quivered. He pulled in a shaky breath. “They…they took me way out in the woods, to this house. I was…locked…in a room and…” Arms tight around his bent legs, he rocked back and forth.
Grease recounted a string of sexual attacks by men who hid behind Halloween masks. At the end, he sniffed and rubbed his red nose on his jean-clad knee. Forehead dropped to his knees, he sat stiffly, as if he might shatter into jagged shards if he breathed too hard.
“Grease,” Irene waited until the boy raised his red-rimmed eyes to her. “I realize your ordeal has been very painful, but there are a few things we need you to do.”
“Yeah, I know. You wanna poke at me and take pictures and do one of them rape kits, doncha?” Belligerence born of hurt and helplessness and anger ripped the bitter words from the thirteen-year-old’s mouth.
In a soft voice, Irene said, “I would like to examine you to be sure you don’t have unmet medical needs. And, yes, it would be good to have photos, if you can tolerate the invasion of your privacy. If you can’t, we can forgo the photos. A rape kit wouldn’t do us any good. It’s been too long since the last attack on you.”
Well, what do you, the reader, think? Do these examples titillate or in other ways exploit the plight of children? Or do these examples simply make the plight of children real? Leave a comment. I would love to hear!
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