Monday 5 August 2013

Book Review: The Trade by Colby Marshall

The Trade
by Colby Marshall
Stairway Press
Review Copy from Netgalley
4 Stars

Stolen lives…

Reporter McKenzie McClendon is on the trail of her next hot story, tracking a sadistic serial killer known as The Cradle Robber. This brutal murderer preys on pregnant women, slicing their infants from their wombs, leaving the helpless women to die while he disappears with their babies.

The trade of innocents…

Jonas Cleary is out of options. McKenzie, his former sweetheart, is his last hope. Jonas believes his slain wife was The Cradle Robber’s first victim and that his son is still alive, lost in the underground world of the black market baby trade, where ruthless people are happy to prey on the desperation of those willing to pay any price to have a child, and infants are just another commodity.

Before another one dies…

Aided by former Navy SEAL Noah Hutchins and a clever FBI data specialist, McKenzie races to unravel the web of lies, drawing dangerously closer to the ruthless, brilliant surgeon at the heart of the maze. With a child’s future hanging in the balance, the lives of five people careen toward a terrifying collision. It’s up to McKenzie to discover which key will unlock the puzzle, and which will get her killed.


A serial killer is preying on pregnant women, removing their babies from the womb and he's been dubbed "The Cradle Robber." Investigative reporter McKenzie McClendon's old high-school sweetheart, Jonas Cleary thinks that his wife may have been one of the man's first victims, but her death doesn't follow the pattern - their child had been a few weeks old and was not found with his wife's body. Jonas is convinced that his child is still alive but the police don't seem to think the crimes are related so he seeks out McKenzie to help him find out.

This was a well-thought out, well plotted thriller with lots of twists and turns, as you'd expect. It was a thrilling ride and McKenzie McClendon was a wonderful heroine. She's a strong character in her own right and no point did you think she needed a strong man to get her out of danger.

There were red herrings throughout and I didn't guess the final twist, so I was pleased to be so surprised. I enjoyed the book, from the investigations to McKenzie's run-ins with her new boss at the paper who doesn't want to give her enough time to investigate properly.

I was confused in some parts about the bits referencing the previous book, I think it will probably work best if you read that one first, but this one is still good enough to be read on its own.

A great page-turning read for any crime or mystery fan.

Reviewed by Annette Gisby

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