When Hope Calls

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By David Lui



Morris works a humanitarian hotline in Asia. One day he receives a call from young girl who pleads for rescue from her kidnappers. Thus begins two of the worst days for Morris and a team of assistants doing what they can to keep the girl from a nightmare.

This is a short book, only about 44 pages in my epub format. This deals with the heinous crime of human trafficking. I think, for the most part, the plot is good with a couple minor issues.


Morris: humanitarian hotline attendant, short black hair

Jeremy Moore: hotline supervisor

Margaret Hall: hotline coordinator, 5’6”

Aat: mid 20s

Chariya: 30’s, tall, slim

For the most part, the characters are good. I don’t know about the kidnap victim and maybe this belongs in the dialogue category, but some of her dialogue didn’t sound like a kidnap victim. There were times she talked too much without the scared voice. I understand at times, Morris was trying to draw her out and try to get her mind off of her situation, but there were sentences that didn’t fit.


For the most part, again, the conversations were fine. Some of the voices were okay.


The story is presented with time headers.

This is a short book as mentioned. Now, let me say up front that I am commenting only on the writing part, the story itself as it was presented. This is in no way a commentary on the human trafficking crime. So, let me get that part out of the way first, then I’ll deal with the story presented here.

Actually, the author makes his own commentary and I wholeheartedly agree with it. This is an awful crime and it’s been around since people decided that other people were commodities. It’s a crime that is beyond heinous and anything anyone can do in any little way to minimize the number of victims is good. Although this book takes place in an Asian country, this crime is worldwide including America, including Iowa where I live. It was mentioned that this story was based on an actual event and the ending is not pretty.

Okay, ‘nuff said about the crime itself, let me get back to the story.

With this being a short book I wanted more ‘stuff’ in the story. I understand the circumstances of the people involved with trying to rescue the girl, but most of this was waiting around in an office hoping for the next call from the girl. There wasn’t any action with the police or other people out on the streets looking for the girl. I realize, too, that the clues to her whereabouts came in bits and pieces and it was difficult for anybody to act, but the author’s job is to keep the reader moving through the story and not have the reader waiting for yet another phone call.

The other issue I had was I wanted more action, more ‘we almost had her’ moments, but a good portion of the book is Margaret upset at herself and wondering if she’s good enough to do her job. A little bit is fine, but this kind of thing ran for many more pages than I thought necessary. It’s a short story so things have to keep moving and when time is taken to self analyze it takes the reader away from the intensity of the story.

Otherwise, I thought it was a good read and I hated the ending. Before you start claiming unfair, let me mention that the author hated the ending, too, and he hopes any reader hates the ending as well. Again, this was based on a true event and the ending to that situation was awful, too.

My Rank:

Green Belt