Finding children" Old enmitiesd leave bitter trails
Fiction, Fantasy, Crime, Police / Detective, Thriller, Contemporary
July 31, 2022
Working with Interpol, Saskia van Essen journeys to the Antarctic island of Si'Empra. In the unexectedly complex society, she needs to thread her way through cultures and resentments to find the manager of a global network of child trafficking without tipping off the leaders that she's aiming for them.
4-5 stars: “Great read”/ “Inventive Fantasy Novel w/ a Real World Edge”/
“A crime story that unfolds in an intriguing, well-wrought setting. The detective is an appealing character who doesn’t dwell on herself but instead focuses on the ins and outs of a strange new world in order to solve the crime. She enlists the help of the crack team of European investigators she belongs to, as well as a host of new acquaintances. I enjoyed learning about the fantasy world alongside the protagonist, whose gifts are easily underestimated (but apparent to reader early on). The world may be a fantasy, but the offences against children are all too real. The author deserves credit for research and invention alike.”
Review from Book Commentry
Resonant and captivating, The Website by Miriam Verbeek takes readers on an amateur detective's quest to stop a crime. Interpol invites Saskia van Essen to investigate images of exploited children that are circulating on the dark web. She finds herself in the Si'Empra kingdom, on the mountain Island cut away from the rest of the world. Can she help Einar and Lian Marene unravel the hand behind the pornographic images on the internet? While she is deft at tracing codes, her challenges continue to grow as she immerses herself in a world with unique social values, complicated relationships, and the quest for revenge. The lives of many children depend on her. Can she succeed this time?
Miriam Verbeek's gift for setting will instantly win new readers. She sets the story in a fantasy world that is vividly drawn and hugely imaginative. The plot opens with a compelling premise — child pornography is a reality that is as disturbing as it is compelling for a novel. The female protagonist appears like a rookie, but there is far more to her in terms of depth than meets the eye. The way the author writes about the dark web is realistic and readers will find themselves challenged to think about the world beyond their keyboards. The Website features stellar writing, superior storytelling, and deft plotting. But what gives depth to this novel is the impeccable world-building and the author's ability to establish links where none is evident. This novel will appeal to fans of Sci-Fi, crime fiction, and thrillers that are balanced. The Website is a superbly paced, immersive treat with particularly poignant moments.