Louise Luna’s The Janes is a tale of corruption, murder, human trafficking, and hope. It starts as a dark tale, opening on a fourteen-year-old girl living in an illegal brothel in California. When she sees a clip on TV of Alice Vega saving a small child from kidnappers, she becomes hopeful that Vega might be able to help her.
When the bodies of two girls are found outside San Diego, Alice Vega, a private investigator, is brought in to help the San Diego police and DEA investigate. Along with her partner, Cap, Vega uncovers a human trafficking ring and a trail of corruption but will stop at nothing to find the girls and ensure their safety.
I feel like I should start by admitting that I have not read Two Girls Down. I don’t feel like you need to in order to enjoy the Janes, however, it is clear that there is some backstory, especially regarding the relationship between Cap and Vega, that is covered in Two Girls Down.
That being said, after reading The Janes I can’t wait to pick up Two Girls Down and everything else by Louisa Luna. Luna creates the perfect lead in Vega. She’s a kickass heroine who rebounds from professional to hardcore seamlessly without pause.
The Janes is a powerful commentary on immigration and what people are willing to risk to come to America. It is at times very, very dark, and is potentially triggering, as sexual exploitation and trafficking are central to the story. But if you can stomach the gore, you’ll find an unpredictable page-turner, with a constantly shifting plot, and well-developed leads.
Thank you to Bookish First and Doubleday for the review copy!