‘A migrant crisis.
A corrupt harbour town.
Who will stand for those who have become invisible to the rest of the world?‘
– The Invisible
[ About the Book ]
People have become one of the world’s most valuable commodities. Trafficked on the promise of a new life only to be hidden away as modern day slaves. When Lena, a raped and badly beaten Syrian woman, literally falls into Lindsey Ryan’s life, she’s left with no choice but to find her part in this new war and play it as best she can.
But before she can work out a safe plan to get Lena away from her very own hell at the hands of Patrick Adebayo, Lindsey hears of an unconscious child being smuggled into Patrick’s building just two doors up. Despite having Patrick’s unwanted attention, she has to help the child and get Lena to safety regardless of the cost. In doing so, she finds herself face to face with the worst of humanity.
Added to her own private battle with PTSD, former soldier Lindsey Ryan is in a race against time and must once again fight for her life. But if she fails to protect those around her, what if anything, will that life be worth?
[ My Review ]
The Invisible by Michelle Dunne will be published April 25th with Bad Press Ink and is the second book in this series featuring the gutsy and indomitable ex-soldier Lindsey Ryan. Having read and thoroughly enjoyed While Nobody is Watching (Book 1), I was delighted with the opportunity to read The Invisible and was certainly not disappointed.
While Nobody is Watching was set primarily on the Northside of Cork City but, for The Invisible, Michelle Dunne takes the readers right into her own home town of Cobh. Located roughly 23km outside the city of Cork, Cobh is probably best known as the Titanic’s last port of call in 1912. For many Irish families it was also the place where many left their home soil forever making transatlantic journeys in search of the American dream. Now, Ireland, like many countries, has become a haven for immigrants & refugees escaping terrible hardships and frightening experiences in their own homelands. As the name implies, The Invisible, tackles one of the seedy aspects of the immigrant crisis, people trafficking.
Lindsey Ryan is now living in Cobh, having moved on from her time working with underprivileged youth in the city. Needing a project to challenge and distract her, Lindsey renovated an old house and opened a café on the ground floor. Not your typical tea lady, Lindsey’s place attracts all sorts, a place where anyone and everyone is welcome. Her wing woman, and chief baker, is Eileen, a member of the travelling community. Labels mean nothing to Lindsey and she sees beyond the stereotypical, accepting Eileen for who she is and for the skills she brings to the business.
Lindsey Ryan has a past, a history that she can’t shake off and one that has left her permanently scarred, both physically and emotionally. As a former soldier with the Irish army, Lindsey was based near the Golan Heights and was left severely impacted by an explosion of an IED. She lost many friends and the memories of that day keep playing on repeat in her head. She survived but the guilt is eating her up. Lindsey clearly suffers from PTSD but refusing any help, she deals with it in her own way. Lindsey is a fighter, tough to the extreme and unafraid to face her death at any given time. She is fanatical about her exercise regime using this time to unwind and recalibrate her thoughts. Her time alone, pushing herself at all times, releases the constant coil that is forever tightening inside her. The only beating heart that Lindsey really cares for is Frank her four-legged friend. Frank is her saviour when she hits the doldrums, or The Dreads, as Lindsey calls that terrible onset of black thoughts that frequently invade her mind. Frank is her safety net always there for her, never demanding anything, always prepared to protect Lindsey when he thinks she needs it.
One evening when she is alone in her home Lindsey is surprised by a noise in her backyard. She makes a very shocking discovery when she sees what’s there. It is a young woman, naked, obviously tortured and, without asking, Lindsey knows this woman has been raped and subjected to a terrible ordeal.
‘Her face was bloodied, her hair wild and dishevelled. Bit it was her eyes that jolted Lindsey. They were wide and filled with terror. Lindsey instantly recognised it as a look of pure animal fear.’
Her name is Lena. She is Syrian and was tricked by human traffickers who promised her a very different life. Under the ‘ownership’ of a local known criminal, Patrick Adebayo, Lena decided she could take no more of the savage and brutal constant attacks that she had endured so escaped, finding Lindsey’s backyard as the only refuge. Lindsey is appalled and immediately welcomes Lena into her home knowing that she will be threatened for harbouring this woman but also knowing that she could not send her back to her jailer.
Trouble always comes knocking on Lindsey Ryan’s door and it’s not long before she finds herself in a very precarious situation. Taking in Lena was sure to draw unwanted attention but when Lindsey hears that there are possibly children involved in a local smuggling operation, she sees red. This cannot be allowed to happen on her doorstep. This inhumane activity has to be stopped. But Lindsey has to deal with corrupt police and a heinous individual who all stand to lose if Lindsey blows their cover. Lindsey is about to embark on a fight that will test all her physical strength, as well as her psychological state at any given moment.
The Invisible is another cracker from Michelle Dunne. Although fictional, the themes of coercion, immigration, human trafficking and mental health are all very relevant to society today. Michelle was a UN Peacekeeper with the Irish army, which adds an extra, and very authentic, layer to Lindsey Ryan’s backstory. One would almost believe that Michelle Dunne is Lindsey Ryan! Setting the book in Cobh allowed Michelle to really develop her setting for many of the scenes, as it all exists, and I know this, as Cobh is only down the road from where I live.
‘During the summer months, some of the largest cruise liners in the world came to visit Cobh. Usually they were greeted by pipe bands, and those same bands would play as they pulled off after spending a day or two marvelling at the town’s beauty and hospitality. It didn’t feel as hospitable these days. Not to Lindsey at least, but she tended to have that effect on places.’
Lindsey Ryan has no fear for her personal safety which makes her a very formative enemy. She is passionate about doing the right thing and helping others in the community who need a lift up. She cannot bear to see another human being in distress and if she can, she will always assist. Human trafficking on her own doorstep is just not something Lindsey is prepared to ignore and, with her tenacious spirit and a little help from friends, both old and new, Lindsey Ryan steps up and prepares to fight for her life and the lives of her precious charges.
The Invisible is a shocking tale, one that is brought very much to life by Michelle Dunne. The anguish is palpable, the fear is real, the pain is visible. Michelle Dunne perfectly captures the wit and the banter of Cork, while also engaging the reader in a taut, vivid and compelling read. There are scenes of a very distressing nature from the beginning but the smart dialogue breaks up the intensity, allowing for a little breathing space. Raw, realistic, frightening and altogether engrossing The Invisible is a marvellous addition to this series. Congratulations Michelle Dunne!
[ Bio ]
During her time in the army, Michelle went from recruit, to infantry soldier, to Peacekeeper with the UN, to instructor back home in Ireland. She now lives in the harbour town of Cobh with her husband and daughter and a large cast of characters waiting to make their way onto paper.
She is the author of two Lindsey Ryan novels: WHILE NOBODY IS WATCHING and THE INVISIBLE.
Website ~ www.michelledunnebooks.com
Twitter ~ @NotDunneYet