David C. Cook
Tom Davis’ Priceless takes readers on an eye-opening journey, alongside Stuart Daniels, to the coldest parts of Russia where girls are kidnapped and forced into selling their bodies over and over in order to make money for their captors. Right from the beginning, Davis keeps readers turning pages with impromptu rescue missions, close calls, heart-wrenching scenes, and spiritual warfare.
Stuart Daniels is a photojournalist from America on assignment in Russia, covering stories of injustice and social deprivation. His passion for shedding light on situations of maltreatment comes from his previous experience in Africa. Now, after arriving in Moscow, Stuart is convinced to postpone his assignment and help an old friend, Katya, who shares his heart for “the least of these” (Matt. 25:40). Stuart finds himself in the midst of danger and uncertainty, but he also experiences God’s faithfulness and protection.
At the urgent request of Katya, Stuart risks his life to save two girls who have been delivered to his hotel room for sixty dollars. With the threat of the girls’ handlers being close by, Stuart listens closely to Katya’s instructions and anxiously awaits the next move. Being told parallel to the fast-paced story of Stuart is the agonizing tale of Marina, a young orphan girl Stuart met on a previous trip to Russia. Once Marina becomes too old for the orphanage, she is left to fend for herself. Those who offer her assistance turn out to be the very people Katya was trying to protect her from. Throughout the book, Marina experiences a roller coaster of hopeful and hopeless situations. Though she questions her faith and her worth in God’s eyes at times, she continues to look to Him for strength.
Davis does an excellent job of bringing to light an issue that many people seem to ignore or are simply not aware of. His writing style is a bit rough at times, but his use of a first-person point-of-view helps to keep the story moving. The characters’ dialogue is very well crafted, and Davis has included some Russian language mixed in with English. The translation of the Russian immediately follows it. Also, Davis writes from a Catholic view and cleverly interweaves numerous Bible references throughout the book.
Reading Priceless was not only intense and intriguing, but also informative, inspiring, and convicting. Once I got used to the switches from present narrative to back-story and back again, I became engrossed in the plot. I couldn’t stop reading until I found out what happened to Marina and how her story ultimately paralleled Stuart’s. I highly recommend this book to older teens and adults; in order to show the reality of the situation, there are a few disturbing scenes. Taking all of this into account, Tom Davis’ Priceless is a great story. – Nicole E. Dynes, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Author Tom Davis returns with Priceless, the second release in a fictional series that explores real-world issues through the eyes, and lens, of an international photojournalist.
Stuart Daniels has found purpose in life. After suffering the fallout of a tragic assignment, Daniels rediscovered faith and hope after a chance encounter with an extraordinary African orphan. Now his photo work also carries a personal mission: To educate people on the devastating effects of AIDS around the world. But when Daniels receives his next assignment to Russia, he unwittingly finds himself a key player in rescuing young girls caught in the tragic sex-slave trade.
Equal parts suspense and drama, Priceless is a provocative thriller that readers' eyes to what's happening in the world today.