Lenny Petrocelli had always been a slacker, a mediocre low-life, getting by on his good looks and street smarts. One day he woke up. Entangled by his gangland bosses in the web of child prostitution and human trafficking, he was being set up as the fall guy to take the rap, if the horrifying but lucrative enterprise went down. Seeing the violence and abuse young girls from Asia were subjected to in the gruesome world of sex slavery, Lenny did the most difficult but the most important thing in his entire life: He became a better person. Now he would risk everything, even his life, to put an end to this savage exploitation. Peer into this awful world. See it through Lenny’s eyes. Discover what’s possible even in the face of the worst, most pernicious evil and cruelty. Embrace the promise of redemption and the power of love. If this gritty novel rings true, it’s for good reason. “Petrocelli” is based on actual stories from a violent and gruesome under-world, where millions of children and adolescents across the globe are held in bondage as slaves.
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Various authoritative articles and news stories, and the widely reported protests against the use of child and forced labor by prominentAmerican corporations or their direct suppliers -- the Gap, Nike,Levi-Strauss, Wal-Mart, Phillips-Van Heusen, Hanes, J.C. Penney,Firestone, to name a few -- had years ago piqued my awareness and concern about widespread practices related to trafficking. But it was the time I spent during 2007 living in Africa, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia whichreally codified my understanding of the flesh trade for both sweatshopsand the sex service industry. It is currently estimated that humantrafficking is annually a 36 billion dollar business worldwide. I havealso read there are more than 25 million people in the world kept inbondage as slaves. I fear this is a low figure.
A non-fiction book I read while in Thailand called Sex Slaves by Louise Brown (© Copyright June 1, 2001: Vurago UK) became thecentral inspiration for this novel. It elucidates in excruciating detail what countless young girls (and boys) must endure as they are boughtand sold in the ever-expanding global market for young prostitutes. This relatively brief but powerful book prompted the extensive research onmy part into human trafficking, which became the factual underpinningfor my story.
Though Petrocelli is entirely fictional,shortly after I finished writing it, I started to see more and morearticles appear on credible online news services (e.g. mainstream sitessuch as BBC and CNN) which paralleled my story line. These reports bothconfirmed the accuracy of much of what I describe in the book andillustrate the expanding scope of these criminal and abusiveenterprises.
While there is no shortage of crises these days,human trafficking is emblematic of a sickness that is spreadingthroughout the world. It is a horrible and heartbreaking indictment ofour lack of progress in many areas of human rights and one that goes tothe core of pandemic contemporary amorality. Many thought we'd be doingbetter by now. Of course, that's just me talking and I am interested inwhat you have to say. Please feel free to email me your comments, though I am not accepting death threats or proposals of marriage at this time. You can be brutally frank, though understandably I would prefer you tobe brutally kind.
John Rachel has a B.A. in Philosophy, has traveledextensively, been a songwriter and music producer, political activistand is a bipolar humanist. Since 2008, when he first embarked on hiscareer as a novelist, he has had eight fiction and three non-fictionbooks published. These range from three satires and a coming-of-agetrilogy, to a political drama and now a crime thriller. The threenon-fiction works were also political, his attempt to address the crisis of democracy and pandemic corruption in the governing institutions ofAmerica.
Never knowing when enough is enough, the hyperthyroidRachel continues to be very busy. He has three more novels in thepipeline for publication late 2017 through 2018: Sex, Lies and CoffeeBeans, a spoof on the self-help crazes of the 80s and 90s; LoveConnection, a drug-trafficking thriller set in Japan; and finally TheLast Giraffe, an anthropological drama involving both the worship anddevouring of giraffes, which unfolds in 19th Century sub-Saharan Africa.
John Rachel's last permanent residence in America was Portland, Oregon where he had a state-of-the-art ProTools recording studio, music production house, a radio promotion and music publishing company. Hestill writes music and, much to the annoyance of his neighbors in thetraditional rural Japanese town where he now lives, attempts to sing his original songs.
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