Sue Guiney (may the blessings of the blogoverse rain down upon her) has published a wonderful review of Trading Tatiana on her blog.
For the clickphobes among you, this is what she says:
One of the unexpected joys of becoming a part of this blogging world is the way I have met authors I might never have come across and have become familiar with their work.
One of these authors is the talented and funny, Debi Alper and one of those books is her novel, Trading Tatiana.
This is neither Debi's first nor most recent book (which is why I chose it, to be honest). It was published in 2004 and has everything a political crime thriller should have: drug-addicts, Eastern European thugs, S&M devotees, mysterious foreign women, oppressed single mothers, dangerous and ruthless men. It is fast-paced, expertly constructed, written with an acute eye for detail and facile use of language. In short, it was great fun to read. I, quite literally, couldn't put it down.
But there is something else about this book which makes it more than a terrific beach read and I believe it is the heart and soul of all of Debi's work and, probably, Debi herself. Trading Tatiana is steeped in the difficult political issues of our urban community back in the UK -- political asylum, the plight and exploitation of Ukrainian refugees, the abuse of women. It is about how one single person can change the world and be changed by it by refusing to turn a blind eye.
And so Trading Tatiana is more than "just" a great read with a terrific plot. It creates a world of living characters and forces them to do what so many of us "real" people refuse to do, namely, "the right thing." At the heart of this work is an investigation of the problems and power of political activism, and so Debi's work becomes not only exciting and captivating, but also challenging to us all, to the way we live our own lives and the roles we are willing to play in our own communities. An excellent find indeed!