The tiny island of Montserrat does not feature on any radars for human trafficking, but author Nerissa Golden places it squarely in the centre of breaking open a major issue facing the Caribbean, in her latest novel In Plain Sight.
“The novel is a departure from the island I set up in the first book Love’s Sweet Joy, but this was the story my characters were inviting me to tell,” explained Golden. “Caribbean people are complicit in trafficking between the islands and we can’t pretend otherwise. Women are lured into accepting legitimate sounding jobs in other islands but when they arrive the only job waiting for them are in brothels or other places where they are sexually exploited. Their passports and other documents are taken away and the money they earn goes towards a debt which they can never stop paying.”
“In Plain Sight is my attempt to bring some awareness to the issue and that even small islands such as Montserrat can contribute to protecting men, women, and children who are being trafficked,” the author shared.
In Plain Sight sees the return of friends and businesswomen Roxie, Bella, and Monique who have befriended Nikki Alvarez, a young woman making a life for herself on Montserrat. She is the focus of our hero’s attention and that of someone she would rather forget.
“From the very start, it is obvious that In Plain Sight is not a simple boy-meets-girl romance, and that Montserrat is not the idyllic paradise readers might expect. The police are kept busy freeing the island from criminal elements who seek to use its relative isolation as an opportunity for trafficking in drugs and worse. Dane Maartens, a Dutch expat living in Montserrat on a contract to train the police, finds himself thrown into actual police work as he helps to solve the mysteries that keep washing up on the island’s shores,” reads an Amazon review.
“Nikki was introduced in book one but at the time I had no idea she would be the perfect lady for our new police trainer Dane. It is always a lot of fun to bring the people in my head to life. What is the challenge is to let them evolve in the way they need to. It took some time for me to see Nikki as more than someone who needed rescuing but could play a part in rescuing herself,” shared Golden.
In Plain Sight continues the author’s vision to mix business with romance in a beautiful Caribbean destination. All of the female characters are entrepreneurs and actively work to support each other to not just be in business but to grow.
According to the 2017 Trafficking in Humans Report, there are several Caribbean nations in Tier 2, which means they are making an effort but not yet compliant with the minimum standards in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. They include Curacao, Barbados, Dominican Republic, St. Lucia and Trinidad & Tobago.
“Human trafficking is about exploiting others for economic gain and the more we can educate our people about what is happening and develop more ways to build our own economic security through entrepreneurship, the more I believe we can reduce the number of people who are vulnerable to this crime.
“I hope readers love learning how Monique’s cafe My Sweet Tooth has made a comeback since the first novel,” Golden, who is also a business mentor, said. “Over and over we’ve just got to be willing to dream and then do the work to bring the dreams to life. I do hope people enjoy that about these women.”
In Plain Sight is now available to order from amazon.com for Kindle and Print.
Nerissa Golden is a mother of four children. She heads Goldenmedia, a communications firm which develops multi-media solutions for clients across the spectrum of profit and non-profit corporations. The company has also created the top digital platform for the island of Montserrat, Discover Montserrat, where readers find the latest news as well as information on experiencing the destination. She is an author of seven books, a film and television producer and business mentor to a new generation of Caribbean innovators. Learn about other books by Nerissa Golden at nerissagolden.com