Simon & Schuster Inc.
New York, New York
What do you do if you witnessed a murder in a foreign country? Most of us would cautiously inform the authorities as Abby Monroe did while in Switzerland. What happens though when the police can't find the body and you are so flustered that you are no longer certain of the location and you are questioning your own sanity?
How many people have made occupational choices based on their love life? Abby has just been dumped by her doctor-to-be via e-mail, her job in New Orleans is no longer available due to Hurricane Katrina, so she decides to accept work from the United Nations in Pakistan.
While waiting for her final flight, she is in Switzerland where she decides to take a morning run. She hears arguing and sees a woman in eastern style dress arguing with a man. The woman grabs his glasses and is pushed over a balcony falling onto cement. Abby quickly approaches and checks for a pulse noticing an exquisite bracelet with gems on her arm. The man on the balcony glares at Abby. Frightened she hides in the bushes while the man descends and finally enters the area.
When she is certain that she can escape, she races back to the hotel and explains the situation to the doorman who calls the authorities. However, she can't find the exact location or a body. The police seem to be that she hallucinated the entire event.
As she begins her duties in Pakistan working with a clinic that vaccinates children, she is still haunted by the incident in Switzerland. As she meets a Pulitzer Prize journalist who pretends to interview you, both of them are catapulted into the illegal human trafficking trade.
The Bracelet is a page turner bringing a realistic aspect to life in Pakistan, especially the women. The story hooks you on the first page and doesn't release. The realistic characters and believable events only allow a small snapshot into the lives of these people, but unquestionably moving. My only complaint was the predictable ending through the roller coaster situations. Abby's emotions are the reader's through each page.
Roberta Gately also wrote Lipstick in Afghanistan and obviously modeled the character of Abby somewhat after herself with her similar experiences of being a nurse and working with humanitarian causes in the Middle East and Africa.
The Bracelet is recommended for a female audience due to the romance tendencies in the novel. Overlooking the romance is a strong realistic story about human trafficking in this part of the world.