08 21 2014
  5:07 am  
     •     
Healthy youth
McMenamins

Jon Evans' second novel, "The Blood Price" (Dark Alley, $13.95), is a dark journey through the world of international people-smuggling, based upon the author's own continent-spanning adventures.

In an attempt to understand the Bosnian civil war, Evans spent time backpacking solo through Albania, Bosnia and Croatia. There, he learned that the Balkans have become a nexus for a horrific crime: people smuggling. His experiences in the Balkans gave rise to the events of "The Blood Price" and its main character, Paul Wood.

Wood's idea of a good time is the thrill of experiencing new places and new people. While traveling in Bosnia, a land reeling from one of the bloodiest civil wars in history, he sees firsthand that an end to the war doesn't mean an end to brutality. His girlfriend's sister has married a war hero, but the hatred that made the man an elite soldier has transformed him into a monster at home. To save the young woman's life, Paul volunteers to smuggle her out of the country.

Desperate to find a way to secretly escape and return to the United States, Paul enlists the help of Sinisa, a man who specializes in the lucrative business of people smuggling. But the only way that Paul can afford the man's services is if he provides a favor — in the form of loaning out his skills as a hacker. Paul worries that he has made a deal with the devil, and that his attempts to cross the border may end up putting him, his girlfriend and her sister at the bottom of a shallow grave.

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