Kidnapped and forced into human sex trafficking, Maggie has only one way out.
Eleven-year-old Maggie Clarke is an average suburban girl known for her intelligence and beauty. Suddenly, her life’s path is tragically altered when Maggie is ripped from her family and thrust into the horrific underworld of human sex trafficking. In captivity, Maggie watches over a young boy, who gives her a reason to live. Robbed of her innocence and freedom, Maggie does whatever it takes to survive.
With the help of Detective Rae Harker, the Clarkes’ frantically search for their daughter. Haunted by his own demons, Detective Harker vows to find Maggie—dead or alive. Meanwhile on the vile streets of Philadelphia, a strange man approaches Maggie with a dangerous proposition, and she risks everything to break free of the network of unsavory characters that control her. Not even she can know how far she will go to get even with the people who ruined her life.
Raw, edgy, and intense, One Among Us ultimately offers hope through Maggie, who grows stronger and more resourceful through her experiences. You’ll be on the edge of your seat, rooting for Maggie as she fights for her life.
**WARNING**18+ Readers Only. Graphic content and subject matter.
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
This is a story about some of the most vile people who you would never wish to meet. It is about people you never want to think about but the truth is you probably wouldn’t even know if you had met them. Unfortunately there is a huge and constantly growing market for this commodity, the abduction and sex trafficking of children.
At 11 Maggie had her whole life to look forward to. She had a loving family, she was intelligent and very striking with her long black hair and piercing blue eyes. Like I said, was, because one silly mistake had turned her innocent life into a living nightmare that lasted years. The book does carry a warning about the graphic content and subject matter but what is doesn’t warn you about is how much this little girl will get into your thoughts and heart along with all of the other abused children in this story that she makes ‘her family’.
On the same day that Maggie was taken so was Seth, a 4-year-old boy, Maggie makes it her mission to protect Seth as much as she can and when she can’t, just to be there for him and comfort him. She becomes the nearest thing to a mummy that the little boy has. Maggie is also taken under the wing of an older girl Cali, Max and much later on Juju. It is through them that she finds the ways to survive.
One of the quickest lessons to learn is that there is a price for anything that a depraved person wants to do to a child. It is at times a horror story and the most hard thing to remember is this really happens. The story follows Maggie through her teen years and into adult life.
Running alongside the story of Maggie’s disappearance is the struggle that her family have not knowing what has happened to her, if she is alive or dead. A mother that blames herself and won’t give up hope and a father that feels this wouldn’t have happened if he had been there and wants to move on after years of not knowing and give their son the childhood he needs. It is all very heart breaking. Constantly supplying the family with any information that he can find is Detective Harker, who swears that he will never give up looking for Maggie.
There is a passion in Paige Dearth’s writing that makes these characters real, as she pulls memories from her own experiences as an abused child. Maggie was such a strong character in this book that managed to keep her sanity and compassion for other people. This may sound totally wrong to say this but I loved this book, as well as being a story of the worst people in society it also had its heroes. There were tissue moments but there were some punch in the air times too. It is a very long book of 661 pages but boy does every page count! Just brilliant.
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paige Dearth was a victim of child abuse. She writes real-life horror and refers to her work as: Fiction with Mean-ing. Stories teach lessons and Paige hopes that awareness through fiction creates prevention.
Paige will continue to write stories about young children who need to overcome adversity and then take you on their life’s journey. Her goal through fiction is to get readers so invested in the story and characters you will become one with the tome. You will shed tears of joy, grief, rage and horror. You will be emotionally invested in the outcome. She wants her readers to be thinking about the story long after they have turned the last page.
Some may say why write about such controversial and difficult subjects. Paige feels that if we look the other way and don’t address society’s fears no real growth will ever happen. As Ben Franklin said: “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” Society should not look the other way because a subject seems too difficult to handle, just remember her books are fiction but people live through these real-life horrors.
So buckle up and take a Paige Dearth life changing journey. It may take you into a new world of renewed enlightenment to make a difference and change the life of a child.
Paige lives in Plymouth Meeting, PA with her husband Mike (who was portrayed as Remo in her debut novel, Believe Like A Child). This novel has been the catalyst for her writing platform. The Beginning of Believe Like A Child is based on Paige’s real-life horror however, the remainder of the novel is fiction. It is the darkest version of who she could have become, had fate not intervened in the nick of time. It presents a fine balance between what lives on in her imagination and the evil that lurks in the real world.