My Review of Currents of Sin by Arleen Alleman for #RBRT


I was given  Currents of Sin by the author, as a member of #RBRT and on the understanding that I gave an honest review.

I gave Currents of Sin 3.5* out of 5*

The Blurb:

In downtown Las Vegas homeless teens are disappearing from the streets, and Darcy fears that runaway teen, Pammie Fleetfoot, has succumbed to human traffickers. After Darcy befriends two young prostitutes, their pimp is brutally murdered, but they refuse her offer of help to leave the streets. She finds that they have fallen under the influence of a dubious, self-styled preacher. When she confronts him, her activities draw the attention of brutal Asian gang members, and an old nemesis with a deadly agenda.

When an attack on Darcy and her friend, Sid, brings life-changing consequences, Darcy doubles her effort to end the violence, stop the human trafficking, and finally determine Pammie’s fate. When clues lead to a strip hotel with links to their past, Darcy and husband, Mick, join forces with local law enforcement to free girls who’ve been forced into prostitution, only to find themselves caught between two vicious criminal factions.

My Review:

I was drawn to the cover of this book; it intrigued me and, together with the blurb ,I was looking forward to the read.

The subject matter is dark; human trafficking, teenage runaways, enforced.prostitution. It’s hard to read because of the themes and because of the depth and intensity  of the writing. Which is to be admired. It is obvious that the author has researched extensively and she brings all that knowledge to the story..

The depictions of the settings and the atmosphere they evoke are strong, well described, well detailed. Las Vegas is revealed to have an underbelly of corruption and danger

The characters are well drawn, especially the protagonist, Darcy. The reader learns a lot of the background, her family, her previous life,  former encounters, her friends and her enemies. The portrayal of the abduction of Pamela, Darcy’s adopted daughter, the way she is conditioned into prostitution is written with confidence. I had no difficulty believing the hopelessness of the situation.I know though, I should have read at least one of the former books to have been able gained more empathy with this character.

The plot is complex and interwoven with the history of all the characters’ lives and the  multifaceted  subplots they bring to the story.

But reading  Currents of Sin reminded me how difficult it is to write a book that is a sequel, or a follow on to a series of books. The danger of telling rather than showing- or of information dumping – is difficult to overcome.  I found myself having to read and re-read certain parts to understand how the characters fitted in. Some of the explanations – although necessary in the main to bring an awareness to the situation – slowed the action considerably. I was constantly drawn away from the plot to appreciate and realize where and how, characters and situations were connected.

Yet, as I always say, this could be me and the way that I read. After writing this review I looked for the book on Amazon to find an image of the cover (which  still think is brilliant, by the way). There were many good comments on other reviews. There were quite a few five stars. Whenever I see this I start to doubt myself as a reviewer. So I spent a few more  hours re-reading. It did become easier but I still don’t think Currents of Sin could be read as a stand alone; there are too many referrals to the plots of the former novels for me.

But if read as a final book in a series I can see that all the threads would be pulled together. It is a good psychological thriller.

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18 thoughts on “My Review of Currents of Sin by Arleen Alleman for #RBRT

      • I really enjoy books in a series that actually stand alone and aren’t full of information dumps either. It’s quite a skill. I’m reading a brill series right now. I read one out of sequence and it worked perfectly well. Clever.

        Liked by 1 person

      • My books are a trilogy. making them stand alone was something my editor insisted on and I finally got there, I’m glad to say. Interested in what you’re reading?


      • Lyz Russo’s Solar Wind series. Young adult fantasy/sci-fi/specfic/pirate/dash of romance/adventure/you name it! I’ll be reviewing it when I’ve read the five books.
        I’ve got pretty catholic taste so when I saw her first book was free I thought I’d give it a try and got hooked. I don’t mind what I read if the writing is good, excluding torture and graphic violence that is. Good character development, interesting plot/s, action, surprises, what’s not to like? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Thanks, Judith. I always hesitate to read books in a series unless I see quite a few people saying they can be read as standalone. Some series are meant as series where the story develops throughout and so do the characters, and that’s fine if it’s made clear… Difficult indeed.

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  2. I really enjoy your reviews Judith. May I ask if the book was introduced as a stand alone? I’m curious because I’m about to publish my newest book which is the aftermath of my first memoir Conflicted Hearts, which I don’t wish to plug as a sequel because it’s a stand alone on a different topic, even though it rides on its coattails. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Debbie. When I read the reviews of other readers afterwards one or two did say the book could be read as a stand alone. And I suppose it could but only if a reader didn’t mind the depth of detail explaining the history of the protagonist and all that had happened to the characters in the past. I found it difficult to wade through to be honest and thought that I would have enjoyed the book more if i’d started with the first one. I had a similar problem with Changing Patterns and I struggled to make sure it stood alone but with enough – yet not too much – past detail. I honestly think your next book will stand alone if it’s a different topic and readers will go back and want to read Conflicted Hearts. Perhaps you’ve actually said it yourself? Your new book ‘rides on the coattails of Conflicted Hearts – your USP is you moving forward? What came next? Not knowing, and being intrigued, by ‘the topic’ I can’t really judge. I’d have to read it first (hint, hint!!!) Jxx

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