Set in Belfast, a young woman from Lithuania named Gayle is coerced into coming to Ireland for a chance at a better life. She believes she will be working as a nanny. However, she's sent to do hard labor at a farm and then sold into prostitution. When the people running the group attempt to force her into a sex act and one of them is attempting to rape her, she kills him in self defense.
Two men were in the home with the attempted rapist, Tomas Stazdas. They fear what his brother will do so take the body to dump into a waterway planning to drown Gayla there too. Gayla is a fighter who never gives up and she escapes.
Tomas's elder brother is Arturas Stezdas. When he learns that his brother has been killed he orders anyone responsible killed in retaliation.
Meanwhile, a man named Billy Crawford had befriended Gayla while posing as a customer. He informed her that if she could get away from the house of prostitution, he'd help.
She calls Crawford who brings her to his home, telling her that he's a Baptist minister without a church. He tries to save women who haven't lost their souls.
Investigating the case is Det. Inspector Jack Lennon. Soon after being assigned to the case he learns that there have been additional murders.
The author, Stuart Neville, writes in a style reminiscent of fellow Irishman, John Connolly. In Connolly's "Every Dead Thing," revenge is the center of the story as the protagonist searches for the person responsible for killing his daughter. In "Stolen Souls" revenge is also central to the story as Arturas wants revenge at all costs.
Not for the squeamish, this is a story that is so dramatic that there are times when the reader needs a break to catch their breath from the tense action. I enjoyed the novel and feel it demonstrates that Neville is a master story teller.
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