cover image The Stolen Ones

The Stolen Ones

Owen Laukkanen. Putnam, $26.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-399-16553-5

Early in Laukkanen’s savage, cathartic fourth series crime novel (after 2014’s Kill Fee), Cass County (Minn.) sheriff’s deputy Dale Friesen notices a truck towing a container in a diner parking lot. His suspicions aroused, Friesen orders the truck’s driver to unlock the container door, and two dirty young women try to flee, but only one escapes. Friesen is shot dead, and later Irina Milosovici, a Romanian sex-trafficking victim, is found next to his body holding his gun. Kirk Stevens, of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and his FBI task force partner, Carla Windermere, investigate. Stevens is sure Irina didn’t kill Friesen. Irina is determined to save her younger sister, Catalina, from the clutches of the sex traffickers. Meanwhile, Andrei Volovoi, orchestrator of the slave ring, and his menacing partner, known only as the Dragon, prepare to teach Irina a lesson. Laukkanen deftly mixes sharp social criticism with bleak white-knuckle suspense. [em]Agent: Stacia Decker, Donald Maass Literary Agency. (Mar.) [/em]