I've always been a bit fascinated with some of these outlier religious groups like the LDS, polygamists, Mormans, Quiverfalls, Independent Baptists (Duggars), Scientology etc. Fascinated in that morbid curiosity kind of way. The indoctrination of the patrons on the faith is really startling and scary to me. So my interest was definitely piqued after reading the synopsis.
The story takes you on a wild goose-chase of subplots to hopefully arrive at a conclusion in a mass murder case. The Story flips between a young woman, Sariah, on the brink of being married off within the church to the leader, a much older man with multiple wives. She's definitely unorthodox and wants nothing to do with the polygamous practices of her family's faith however. She's stuck in between a rock and hard place though trying to reconcile being true to herself or being true to her family which is very important to her.
The Texas Rangers Flynt and Kidd take point on a few of the investigations of human trafficking and murder and cartels as all these cases start to muddle together to a broader scarier reality. The nuptial clock is ticking for Sariah and she must play to game to get to the bottom of the mystery of her missing best friend. Flynt and Kidd are trying to unravel just how deep this rabbit hole goes. The cases get messy as does the matter of who is involved.
As strange as it sounds I was almost expecting more brutality and shock value and depravity that we already got. That said, its still not an easy story to listen to especially if you're triggered by things like rape and human trafficking and misogyny. There's some bittersweet resolution at the end but also a lot of loss of faith in humanity.
Overall, it was a decent crime mystery. The author felt knowledgeable in the intricacies of this particular faith. I have no idea if there's a true authenticity of the facts though. Doesn't matter for me however. The details seemed legit to me. The names of the characters were unique and religious sounding and easily confused for other similar names. So it was hard to follow at times. The big surprises were who was involved or behind all the crimes. It went deep and wide spread and that was the scary part.
The one part that was hard for me to adjust to was the narrator. I really tried to get past his reading style but it was hard. It sounded like he was out of breath the entire time or someone was sitting on his chest as he read. It was like a perpetual strain to his voice or that he was reading on the very tail end of the breath in his lungs. It left a latent sense of anxiety....breathe dude, just breathe!!!! He DID sound very "true crime" however. If he could resolve the breathing issue he'd be fantastic in that genre.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.