A Walk Across the Sun by Corban Addison
No less a personality than John Grisham has given his endorsement to A Walk Across the Sun, a legal thriller which takes the reader from India to France to the United States. It is the first time Grisham has lent his name to an endorsement for a novel and that surely speaks volumes.
Ahalya Ghai, 17, and her sister, Sita, 15, are enjoying a comfortable life in their coastal town in India when a tsunami strikes without warning, washing away the town and killing the girls’ parents. While trying to get to shelter, the girls are offered a ride. That ride ends up seeing them sold as sex slaves in a Mumbai brothel.
Meanwhile, in the United States, Thomas Clarke, a young attorney, is facing obstacles in his career path to a judgeship. To work his way through his current employment problems, Thomas accepts a pro bono sabbatical in India where his estranged wife lives. He’s assigned to work in an organization that prosecutes human traffickers.
Once Addison has Clarke ensconced in India in the multi-faceted plot line, he puts him on a path to meet Ahalya when his organization rescues her from the brothel. Unfortunately, in the same raid that frees Ahalya, Sita is stolen again and taken to Paris, France where she is initially forced to work back-breaking, mind numbing hours in a restaurant without even a bed to call her own. The only thing on Ahalya’s mind upon being rescued is finding her sister. She begs Clarke to find Sita. To say, Clarke has his work cut out for him is an understatement because the people who have stolen Sita are experts in trafficking. Clarke, who has lost a daughter to SIDS, becomes obsessed with the idea of finding Sita and reuniting the sisters. He also finds time to court his wife who had left him after the death of their infant daughter.
The reader must be open to suspending disbelief at some points in this debut novel as some plot twists seem a little contrived sometimes. All in all though, the reader is transported on a wild ride with Clarke as he manages to move mountains in a land strange to him. Anyone wanting a good legal thriller to read can’t go wrong with this one.
Grisham notes on the cover of the advanced reader edition that he expects Corban Addison to be “heard from again and again.” If this first novel is any indication of his talent, he will be.