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Beasts of the Night

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When Mei was eight years old, her aunt tried to sell her to a strange man with a foreign accent. Betrayed amongst the backwater villages of Cambodia, she ran for her life. When she was found, grass-stained and teary-eyed in a ramshackle orphanage, security consultant Quinton Mills fell in love with her fiery spirit and dogged will to survive.

Now, years later, Mei has gone missing and this time, Quinn fears the worst. When the head of a victims' shelter informs him that Mei and several other girls have been abducted in the night, he sets out against all odds to find her and bring her home.

Unraveling the mystery of Mei’s disappearance takes him from the jungles of Cambodia to the seedy back alleys of Bangkok's notorious red-light district, and onwards to Cairo, a city consumed by corruption and political tension, the beating heart of North Africa on the brink of revolution. As clues to Mei's whereabouts continue to fade among the shadows, his desperate search for an innocent child drags him ever deeper into the clandestine underworld of the modern slave trade.

426 pages, Paperback

First published December 7, 2020

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Matejs Kalns

2 books13 followers

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 31 reviews
Profile Image for Debbie Campbell.
15 reviews2 followers
September 11, 2020
In a time where we wonder if we'll ever be able to travel again Matejs Kalns has created a story where, as a reader, I can smell breakfast in South East Asia, taste dinner in the Middle East, hear the fuss in a major airport transit terminal in Canada, and see a riot unfold in front of my eyes. The story is full of twists and turns and makes it very hard to put down. Bringing forth such a difficult topic is absolutely necessary for there to be understanding of the scope and depth of the crimes being committed on the most helpless of our fellow human beings. Excellent read. Highly recommend.
Profile Image for P.L. Stuart.
Author 3 books413 followers
January 30, 2021
Some books entertain, some books educate, and some books even manage to enthral. There are also books that inspire, and some even succeed in leaving a lifetime impression, that will linger with the reader long after the last page is turned. "Beasts of the Night", the debut novel from Matejs Kalns, is that rare book that accomplishes ALL those feats, in the confines of a single novel.

The premise of "Beasts of the Night" involves a poignant, highly complex, and grimy topic, that of the horrors of human trafficking. The brilliant author, Kalns, expertly leads the reader into this dark, shadowy world with impeccable finesse. The book is a perfectly-paced thriller, packed with suspense, heart-stopping scenes, unexpected turns, and unforgettable characters. All the while, Kalns, in a very objective, non-judgemental way, casts light on the moral issues surrounding the trafficking world. The reader never feels that "Beasts of the Night" is a morality tale, but one cannot help having their heart strings pulled at the plight of gutsy eight-year old Mei, one of the primary characters, and at the plight of the those others trafficked, who fall victim to terrors of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse.

The story's protagonist, Quinton Mills, is a security consultant, who is all too familiar with the modern-day slave trade. He first encounters Mei as a child, and then years later springs into action when he learns she has been kidnapped.

Mills is capable, jaded, but with a soft touch. Mei is feisty, sharp, and tenacious. Their relationship, like father-daughter, that spans many years, is heartwarming. The auxiliary characters are fascinating, such as Noi, and her staff. For the characters alone, "Beasts of the Night" is worth the read. But there are so amazing aspects to this book!

One of the absolutely incredible elements of "Beasts of the Night" are the phenomenal settings. We move from Cambodian jungles, to seedy Bangkok back-alleys, to the underbelly of majestic Cairo. While other books might feature such diverse and splendid locations, few will be written by someone who has actually journeyed to those places, as the author has. Kalns is extremely well-travelled, and his level of sophistication and experience with traversing such exotic backdrops shines through in his work. One feels like one is actually walking in some vibrant, far-away marketplace, taking in the sights, smelling the scents, touching the wares, when one reads "Beast of The Night".

Moreover, Kalns is highly educated, and an expert in the field of human trafficking. This is an author who brings an extraordinary degree of credibility to the subject matter. Combined with Kalns' smooth prose, extremely well-executed plot, the compelling topic, and even Cambodian words translated into English scattered throughout the book to provide additional authenticity, this novel is one that cannot be missed. The reader will be enraptured by a superbly-crafted, exciting story, that one will be unable to put down, and that will resonate beyond the final words of the book.

Matejs Kalns is an author on the rise, whose name you will want to remember!"Beasts of the Night" is a masterpiece of fiction, that will doubtless achieve best-seller status in short order. Five plus star rating, and definitely a must-must-read!!!
Profile Image for Rozanne Visagie.
538 reviews74 followers
May 31, 2021
*Disclaimer: I was kindly gifted an electronic copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Beasts of the Night is Matejs Kalns's debut novel and it is filled with suspense and adventure. The reader is taken to places such as Siem Reap in Cambodia, Montreal in Canada, Bangkok in Thailand and even as far as Egypt. If you enjoy travelling, prepare yourself for this adventure. Beasts of the Night focuses on child trafficking and it's a difficult topic to deal with, but with this story, the author creates an awareness around the slave trade.

Through this detailed story, we follow Quinton (Quinn) Mills who travels the world and following leads to find Mei who has gone missing. Quinn met Mei at an orphanage years ago, at the age of eight she was betrayed by her aunt who tried to sell her to an older man. Mei ran away and met Quinn at the orphanage and nicknamed him 'cockroach'. They share a special bond and that drives Quinn to search for Mei.

The story is filled with twists and turns as Quinn delves deeper into the never-ending pit of the slave trade. The story is detailed and some readers might experience a slow reading pace, but keep in mind the nature of the story. Because of the topic, this might not be for everyone but I think the author took a sensitive topic and turned it into a thriller that keeps the reader guessing.

I don't want to go into too much detail, but the reader will meet a cast of well-written characters and be transported to the different locations. For me this is not a typical thriller that is finished within one sitting; the story takes us on an emotional journey and gives us a glimpse into the dark underworld of child trafficking and the horror that goes with it. I found it difficult to write this review, mainly because of the topic of this story, it's not something that is mentioned every day, but this leaves the reader with an understanding that these kinds of things do happen. I found the title fitting and would recommend this book to readers who aren't sensitive and who are open to topics that are a concern in the world we are currently living in.

This review is posted on my blog:
Profile Image for Kate.
Author 9 books229 followers
October 25, 2020
In a world where so many terrible things happen, how do we balance cynicism and hope? Can one person really make a difference? What about when working in the international humanitarian field that's embroiled in bureaucracy?

This book, a story of child trafficking, raises these questions...and doesn't offer easy answers. It follows Quinn, an American, whose work in diplomatic circles has left him beaten down and drowning his sorrows in booze. The one light in his life is a Cambodian girl named Mei. When Mei goes missing, he journeys to the bright and dark corners of Cambodia, Thailand and Egypt to try to find her and to uncover a ring of sex traffickers.

Two of his women colleagues--Noi and Maha--provide balance to Quinn's point of view. They are both strong, savvy women, unforgettable characters.

Part mystery, part dark travelogue, the book has a noir vibe and a social conscience. It moves slowly at times, but the pacing fits the frustrations of the search. I couldn't put it down.

I read an advanced review copy; the book comes out December 1.
Profile Image for David Morgan.
787 reviews16 followers
October 28, 2021
An exciting and compelling story.
After befriending eight-year-old Mei at a shelter for orphaned children in Cambodia, Quinton has to leave but the two keep in contact through letters. Quinn is a consultant who is in-between jobs and listless. When he learns Mei has gone missing he returns to Cambodia to begin searching for her. He soon discovers she's been kidnapped by human traffickers. With dogged determination, Quinn follows the leads that take him from Cambodia to Thailand and then to Cairo, Egypt.
With a cast of characters that are well developed and interesting, this one had me enthralled from start to finish. The fast pace and descriptive settings lend themselves to a feeling of urgency as Quinn searches for Mei. For a debut novel, this story is very well written with a topical plot that sadly happens all to often in today's world.
I really enjoyed this thrilling, heartfelt journey and can highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Emily S.
68 reviews2 followers
October 25, 2020
3.5 stars, rounded up. I received this book from Netgalley and the author in exchange for an honest review.

Beasts of the Night is the story of Quinton Mills, a security consultant, and his race against time to find Mei, a young Cambodian girl whom he had met years earlier at a children's orphanage after she had escaped from her aunt's attempt to sell her.  Mei has disappeared from the orphanage, and Quinton fears the worst:  that she has been taken to be sold into the modern slave trade.  Using his various connections and his own critical thinking, Quinton's search takes him from the back alleys of Bangkok to Cairo, and deeper into the horrifying world of human trafficking.

This debut novel is engaging, tense, and full of heart.  Kalns was able to take a difficult and dense subject and make it a manageable story for the reader to take in and follow.  Quinton is for the most part, a normal individual, and does not have any particular set of special skills that makes him qualified for this rescue endeavor.  As a result, Quinton undertaking this task and actually making progress in it seems slightly unrealistic, but could also be viewed as the power of pure will and love.

Kalns' writing is extremely descriptive and successfully places the reader right in the middle of the scene he is setting.  It includes a significant amount of explanation, exposition, and inner dialogue, which I liked because I do not know much about those areas of the world or the underworld of human trafficking.  It also provided helpful insight into Quinton's thought process and motivation, which is important because that is the sole driving force behind the narrative.  Even though we only met Mei briefly at the start of the book, Kalns fully fleshed out her spirit and Quinton's paternal love for her.  Even with all narration, the story is fast-paced and exciting, and I became fully invested in Quinton's journey and Mei's fate.

Quinton meets a wide cast of characters who help him along the way and I found them enjoyable.  Even if they were only minor roles, they each had a major impact on Quinton and you could tell Kalns was deliberate in his writing of these characters.  A secondary character I particularly liked was Maha, as she was a smart and driven woman.  She also gives a great lesson on Hatshepsut, and I'm always a sucker for a shout-out to one of my favorite Ancient Egyptian queens.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who is looking for an intense, exciting, and heart-wrenching read.  Although I caution that it handles very difficult subjects involving child sex trafficking and political unrest.  Yet, even with this intense topic, Kalns is able to inject hope into this story that shines through the despondency.
14 reviews
March 1, 2021
“Beasts of the Night" captured my imagination right from the start and grabbed me all the way to the end—despite the fact that it centers on human trafficking, a topic I find so disturbing that I would generally not opt to read fiction about it. With his strong mix of suspense, intrigue, alluring characters and fascinating locations (particularly Bangkok and Cairo), Kalns not only provides an excellent diversion for the reader, but he also manages to shine a light on the horrible scourges of human trafficking and the sex trade, which too many people would rather sweep under the rug. This may at first glance seem like a classic savior story, but “Beasts of the Night” is not typical or oversimplified. While the girl, Mei, needs a physical rescue, the main character, security consultant Quinn Mills, needs an emotional one, and the interwoven fates of the man and the girl drive the story well. Kalns has a talent for painting vignettes and conjuring up characters. By interspersing letters that Mei once wrote to Quinn, the reader gains insight into the girl and her relationship with the man she nicknamed “cockroach.” When the trail of clues becomes thin and verges on impossible-to-believe, Quinn himself questions everything, effectively reestablishing plausibility for the reader. I loved Part II, which offers a sense of Egyptian politics and includes smart sections of dialog with Maha, a feisty Egyptian working on women’s issues. “Beasts of the Night” doesn’t easily fit into a box or genre. Part thriller, part suspense, part exposé, part literary fiction, it is a clever mix. Kalns deserves credit for tackling the difficult topics of modern slavery, sex work and human trafficking, all the more fraught by layers of colonial legacy, racism, sexism and other biases prevalent in real life and in art. Not only does he grapple with these taboo subjects, but he reveals the stories of people who are different from himself with care. On the cultural sensitivity front, there were a few instances when I would have used a different word, or deleted a word, but literally only a few. Overall, “Beasts of the Night” is a beautifully written story about a tough topic, taken on with great sensitivity and sophistication.
Profile Image for BooksCoffee.
914 reviews
September 28, 2020
Kalns’s gritty debut explores child trafficking culture and the power of conviction.

When eight-year-old Mei ended up in a dissipated hut after her harrowing escape from the clutches of a child trafficker, it was her grit and resilience that bonded her to the security consultant Quinton Mills for life. Years later, when Mei gets kidnapped in the middle of night along with several other girls, Quinton takes it upon himself to rescue his little friend. Unraveling the mystery of Mei’s disappearance takes him from the wildernesses of Cambodia to the sordid red-light districts of Bangkok and further to Cairo in North Africa.

Mei’s story dominates the narrative and provides a frank, riveting portrayal of a young girl’s tenacity and resilience in the face of adversity. The relationship between Mei and Quinton and Kalns’s wide-ranging cast, which encompasses Noi, her staff, and the rescued girls—some of them damaged beyond repair—makes for an intriguing cast. In his portrayal of Kaew, Kalns raises moral questions without judgment and have readers examining not only this conflict but the aftereffects of long-term sexual abuse and trauma.

The grimness of child trafficking business might be too much for some readers, but Kalns nails a perfect blend of suspense and social commentary that resonates well with readers. The layered narrative is paced smoothly, and the expertly executed plot introduces readers to a modern slave world in which human trafficking continues to exist in myriad forms around the globe.

The narrative peppered with largely translated Cambodian words adds a refreshing authenticity to Mei’s story.

This is a must-read.
Profile Image for Sachin.
20 reviews
December 3, 2020
A thousand thanks to @matejs.kalns @netgalley and @friesenpress for this insanely outstanding book 🥂👌🏼

This debut novel, Beasts of the Night, is out of the world, insanely good, full of heart, tense and wonderfully addictive! Follows Quinton Mills, a security consultant, from America. Who is on the hunt to save a beloved eight year old girl named, Mei, who goes missing in the middle of the night. We tag along side Mills from the deep jungles of Cambodia to the dark alleys of Thailand and all the way to the corruption and political tension in Egypt, where we learn about the involvement of rich pedophiles, low life roughnecks and government operatives, proving that human trafficking is not specific to one group in society but to every part of society.

Kalns knows how to get his readers to eat out of his hands, with this action packed page turner novel, which is difficult to put down once you start reading it. The story is full of twists and turns, allowing to bring forward tough and difficult questions to the table about human trafficking around the world.

Character development 10 out of 10. Quinton meets a wide cast of characters who helps him along the way. Kalns developed such strong characters which heightens the drama to the next level.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a heart racing, action packed, heart warming read! The novel need to be on everyone’s read list. I can’t see to see what else Kalns brings to the table with his next book!

Outstanding work!
Profile Image for EllenZReads.
428 reviews16 followers
June 3, 2021
Quinton is an international consultant, traveling the world. In Battambang, Cambodia at a shelter for street children, he meets 8 year old Mei, who ran away when her aunt recently tried to sell her. Quinn and the feisty little girl soon develop a deep connection and friendship, Mei's letters in halting English finding their way to Quinn across continents.

The story quickly jumps ahead four years, and Quinn, feeling burnt out and frustrated with the futility of his work, learns that Mei, along with several other girls, has been kidnapped from the girl's home where she has been staying the past few years. Possible leads to Mei's whereabouts take Quinn from Cambodia to Bangkok, Thailand, and then to Cairo, Egypt in the midst of people rioting against the oppressive government.

The author's vividly detailed description of the places Quinn visits and the people he meets in his search for Mei were particularly compelling, as was the juxtaposition of locations like the peaceful Buddhist spirit houses with their night spot neighbors in Bangkok.

Quinn's increasingly frantic search for Mei takes a dangerous turn in Cairo as he finds himself caught up in the violent uprisings. While much of the book has a gritty, noir feel to it, there are glimpses of hope and empathy from the various characters who assist Quinn in a myriad of ways.

Beasts of the Night, published in 2020, is a very well-written and interesting novel, and I highly recommend it!
Profile Image for litandcoffee.
162 reviews6 followers
September 28, 2020
Debut author Kalns beautifully examines the labyrinthine underside of child trafficking in this timely and harrowing tale.

When eight-year-old Mei escaped a child trafficker, it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship between the young girl and the security consultant, Quinton Mills. But years later, Mei has gone missing again, and this time Quinton fears the worst. As Quinton starts to look into Mei’s whereabouts, he finds himself dragged into the seedy underbellies of a modern slave world which has its roots spread across the world.

Kalns beautifully reveals Mei’s acute awareness of the harshness of the world around her despite her young age. Strong characters heighten the drama, especially the gentle and compassionate Noi and the resilient and tenacious Quinton. Readers will admire Mei’s intelligence and grit, rooting for her throughout the narrative.

Kalns’s portrait of the endearing friendship between Mei and Quinn not only reveals the tenacity of love but it also lightens the otherwise grim tale of human depravity. Kalns expertly examines the magnitude of the child trafficking business, the financial struggles faced by rehabilitation centers, and the complexities of international legalities.

Readers will look forward to seeing more of Kalns.
924 reviews38 followers
November 7, 2020
𝑻𝒊𝒕𝒍𝒆: Beasts of the Night
𝑨𝒖𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒓: Matejs Kalns

𝑴𝒚 𝑹𝒆𝒗𝒊𝒆𝒘:
Beasts of the Night by the author Matejs Kalns is a story involving business of selling children. An eight year old girl Mei was living with her aunt. One day, a man with a foreign accent came to their home and Mei's aunt asked her to go with him. The strange man paid some money to her aunt. When they were about to sit in the taxi, Mei bit the man and escaped.

Mei feels safer with her neighbor Rom Chang. When Rom Chang brought Mei to Noi and Quinn, Quinn fell in love with her. He wanted to protect her from the cruel outer world. Quinn has a shelter to take care of Mei and other girls. One night when Mei and other girls were missing, Quinn sets out on a journey to find Mei. Grab a copy of this interesting novel and find out yourself will Quinn be successful in finding the girls?

Even though the story is lengthy but I didn't realized turning pages after pages. It is such an intriguing story that gives us vast knowledge about Bangkok, Cambodia, etc. Cover of the book is nice and writing style of Matejs is impressive. This is a unique story that I would definitely recommend to my fellow readers.

𝑴𝒚 𝑹𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈: 4.5/5
Profile Image for _sassy_39.
1,714 reviews77 followers
December 6, 2020
Beasts of the Night is the debut novel of the author Matejs Kalns. The story of this novel revolves around a very important topic Child Trafficking. The story is about the eight years old girl Mei and her protector Quinton Mills who is a security consultant. Mei lives with her aunt. When her aunt told her about working in the north, Yunnan or Guangxi, Mei understood that she is being sold to the man who is there at their home. Mei looked for the opportunity and eventually escaped from her buyer and her aunt.

When she met Quinton in the orphanage, Quinton got attracted to the little Mei. As the story progresses, one night some men came in the truck and they took Mei and other girls after hitting the volunteer Pichai. When Noi informed all this to Quinn, he felt a twisted knot in his stomach. He cares a lot for Mei and he will find her at any cost.

The story will take the readers to different countries across the globe. Character of Quinn is penned down beautifully by the author. Language of the book is medium and title of the story couldn't have been better than this. This novel is written in a very detailed manner and one would definitely enjoy these fine details. Although this book took me some time to finish but it is totally worth.
Profile Image for J-L M.
19 reviews5 followers
May 10, 2021
Beasts of the Night by Matejs Kalns is a novel that both informs and entertains. Through very detailed, solidly written prose, Kalns manages to shed light on what is usually a very underrepresented subject; human trafficking.

The main character is a security consultant named Quinton Mills, who we follow on his journey through some of the most sordid underbellies of the world in order to save a young girl, Mei, from the grip of human trafficking. He is a well-developed character, and easy to cheer for as he navigates his way through government corruption and the ineptness of local law enforcement. This novel was creatively written and had very engrossing details that really gave a sense of place and time. It also never shied away from exposing dark and grim realities, something that helped heighten a sense of dread in this mystery thriller-esque plot.

Overall, I gave Beasts of the Night five stars. Kalns has great promise as a novelist, and this debut was not only very polished, but also very professional and elegantly written. Kalns knows his stuff, and knows how to make a good thriller tick like a bomb. It is my hope that he will gain greater audience and traction, as he is very deserving of a loyal fanbase should he so choose to write more.

Profile Image for Kia.
579 reviews28 followers
November 10, 2020
Beasts of the Night is the first book of the author Matejs Kalns. I have read many novels based on child trafficking but the storyline of this one is different. As I started the novel, it took me some time to understand the storyline thereby making it a slow paced. But once I got the grip of the story, then it went smooth. With Quinn, the readers will go from jungles of Cambodia to Bangkok. He then went to a corrupted city of Cairo. But will his search for an eight years old Mei be successful? Mei and Quinn connection is something that I loved.

Story was bit lengthy and certain descriptions could have been shorter especially when Quinn was searching for Mei and he met various people to enquire about her. The language of the book is medium. Narration is smooth and I learnt many new words from this novel. Character development is well done. Author has very well captured the fears of the girls who was been abused. Ending of the story is nice. Story involves Khmer language that is spoken in Cambodia. This book introduced me to many new things across the globe about which I wasn't aware before. Overall, it's a nice novel that won't disappoint you. So, go ahead with it.
Profile Image for Zamira.
71 reviews3 followers
May 1, 2021
This book was one that will stay with me for while. It is a well written, perfectly paced mystery thriller that had me turning pages frantically to make sure I don't miss a beat.

Matejs Kalns debut novel has set the bar way up there for everything a book should be.

I was very impressed with the scenery in the book as we move from country to country with so much description that I actually felt I was there and I could smell and hear all that the surroundings

Kalns has written about really strong characters and as a reader it's impossible not to grow an emotional connection with. As the topic of the story focuses around human trafficking, it is a very eye opening read as to what is actually happening behind closed doors around the world.

We mainly follow the story of 8 year old Mei who is being trafficked and main character, Quinton Mills, who has made it his mission to find her and make sure she is safe. Along the way the people who Quinton deals with have very strong character personalities as well and are all important in the development of the story.

This story was perfectly written and I will recommend it to everyone I know.
195 reviews11 followers
November 8, 2020
Recently I read the novel "Beasts of the Night" on my friend's recommendation. Cover photo of the book is as per the story and I want to give +1 for the title of the story. It is very creative. Story is written in two parts. First part covers the story from Cambodia to Bangkok. Quinn searches for an eight years old girl Mei who was abducted in the middle of the night from one of his orphanage. Second part starts from his search in Cairo, Egypt. The Middle East country adventures of Quinn to search for Mei made the story intense. The set-up of the plot is different from the usual child-trafficking novels.

The letter writing part from Mei is also an interesting one. Before reading this book, I didn't know about Khmer language. Please be advised that this novel contains sensitive topic like child abuse.

Written in 340 pages, this novel has much in store for the readers. I am sure that you will find many things in this novel that would be worth your time. If you love to read novels based on child trafficking, you shouldn't miss to read this one.

Rating 4.5/5
Profile Image for Monika Singla.
358 reviews26 followers
November 9, 2020
🔷 BOOK: Beasts of the Night
🔷 AUTHOR: Matejs Kalns

Child Trafficking is a very serious issue. Matejs Kalns has handled it very well in his debut novel 'Beasts of the night'. Story highlights a little girl who used to live with her aunt but when her aunt was selling her to some foreigner, she ran away. Later, she met a security consultant Quinn who provide shelter to abused girls or girls who doesn't have a place to live. Story becomes intense when Mei was abducted. Quinn's quest to find Mei will show different sides of the world to the readers.

1) Cover photo of the book is nice.
2) Title is perfect for the story.
3) Author must have put great thought to come up with this promising story.
4) Writing style varies. Some sections were easy breezy to read while others were little complex.
5) Plot of the story is medium paced. I didn't felt bored anytime while reading this novel.
6) This book will show you the corrupted side of the world and other dark sides that were a bit shocking.

Overall, I suggest my fellow readers to add this book to your tbr.

Rating 4/5
55 reviews2 followers
December 11, 2020
I received a free copy of this book BookSirens in exchange for an honest review.
Matejs Kalns is an excellent writer and his debut book is not to be missed.
He takes on the difficult topic of child trafficking, taking us to the underbelly of Cambodia, Thailand and Egypt where poverty is rife and the rich can buy anything and anyone, life having little value.
Quinton Mills is disillusioned with his ability to make a difference. Turning to alcohol he is saved by a young girl Mei, who escaping from an aunt trying to sell her, ends up in an orphanage and the protection of Quinn.
Within four years she is snatched and Quinn goes in search of this innocent little girl.
He travels to the seediest parts of many cities searching for clues.
Matejs is a descriptive writer. There are strong characters, especially the women he meets. In each country he visits , the sounds, smells and tastes take you there alongside Quinn.
This is a brilliant book which makes for compulsive reading. I highly recommend! Don’t miss this amazing book!

Profile Image for Sara (thebookwebb).
256 reviews13 followers
June 27, 2021
The first thing I have to say about this book is that it is very hard to classify it into a genre. While it is a work of fiction the writing style and the detailed descriptive writing made it feel as though I was reading a memoir. The atmosphere, the descriptions of the various countries, cities and culture, felt as though I was reading the words of someone who had experienced all of this for real. It made it really easy for me to immerse myself into the settings and vividly picture places that I had never been to. The way it was beautifully written, in an almost reverential tone, places this book in the category of literary fiction. The story itself throws a spotlight onto the sex trafficking trade, in particular the trafficking of very young girls. While an uncomfortable topic to read about, the story was told in a sensitive and respectful manner. A beautifully crafted, thought provoking, debut novel that I would highly recommend.

This was a gifted copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Shantel Brunton.
Author 5 books55 followers
July 17, 2021
This book starts off strong and hooks the reader. I loved it right from the first line.
The author uses such powerful language and vivid descriptions. I felt like I was watching a movie as opposed to reading a book.
As I read a felt a great deal of sadness reading the scenes of human suffering. The descriptions of slavery, and human trafficking were heartbreaking.
Quinn is such a fascinating character and he’s certainly not a cockroach even though the book opens up with him being called a cockroach.
Quinn is one of the most intriguing characters I’ve read in a really long time. I was rooting for him every step of the way.
And poor Mei. Whenever I read her letters I felt more connected to her as a sweet innocent character.

Aside from the great characters the plot even with its hard to swallow and heart breaking elements is swift and steady. This book transports readers right into the story.
The authors writing reminds me of James Rollins and Dan Simmons.
Be sure to grab a copy because you won’t regret it.
Profile Image for Jordan Buchanan.
29 reviews
December 27, 2020
Great book. I enjoyed the story. His subject of human trafficking, government corruption and individual frustration on the front people trying to help are very much important subjects. I bought this book as the writer's mother was my colleague but shortly after I started reading, the story hooked me. I felt transported to both locales. My knowledge of these areas was old. My brother lived in Egypt and my niece did a work program in Vietnam Nam and area countries. I remembered their descriptions and the author has well developed his narrative to make me feel there in the here and now. I have done some work in the investigation of human trafficking. He does a great job of showing all types of human trafficking of factory workers, domestic workers as well as the sex trade of high end escorts, "summer marriages" and child exploitation. I recommend this book for anyone looking for a good read. Fantastic first novel Mr Kalns. I look forward to your next novel.
24 reviews7 followers
September 10, 2020
Worth reading for the topic, and the writing is decent. I was interested in the descriptions of the various humanitarian problems, even though there was a lot of infodump rather than being incorporated into the story. The main character spent a lot of the book wandering around drunk and disoriented, or chatting with various people, which didn't make sense to me, since he was supposedly completely driven to find the girl. Restructuring would make it a lot more solid. That said, I did finish it, and I don't always. It would have been nice to have an author's note with more information about human trafficking and child marriage. Worth a try if you're on the fence. Three stars for "average/fine", rather than great or outstanding. eARC provided by Netgalley.
Profile Image for Annemarie .
553 reviews9 followers
September 28, 2020
What an amazing first book by this author. You can tell that he has done his research by how believable the characters, situations and locale, are.

The kidnapping (or selling) of young children still exists in Asia and the Middle East and will continue whilst there are rich paedophiles willing to pay the price and government operatives accepting bribes to ensure that they avert their eyes.

Beasts of the Night was a very thought provoking read and not for those whose eyes are blinkered against the darker aspects of mankind's nature. We call them 'beasts' but nowhere in nature will you find any creature who treats their young and innocent the way we do. We truly are the 'beasts'.

I received an Advanced Readers Copy free through BookSirens and have chosen to leave a review.
Profile Image for Vivian.
407 reviews20 followers
November 15, 2020
This book deals with the terrible practice of human kidnapping and trafficking, specifically children, for the enjoyment and use of inescrupulosos uber rich adults who as true beasts inflict inimaginable pain and suffering to innocents.

In the book we read about the huge network of human trafficking that spans from Cambodia, Thailand to Egypt and learn about the involvement of government operatives, rich pedophiles and low life ruffians, showing us that the tentacles of human trafficking isn't specific to one social strata but part of levels of society.

This book is a page turner, it won't disappoint the reader.

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
155 reviews
September 14, 2020
A definite MUST READ! Human trafficking is a huge business that affects not only the victims but everyone linked to them. It is a horror that just keeps growing - and many think it doesn't exist, or it exists someplace else. This book delves into a huge network of human trafficking involving Thailand, Cambodia, and ultimately Egypt, but linked to other countries as well. Very detailed and tense, the main character flawed yet driven, very human. Ultimately, that's what the book is about - the essence of humanity and lack thereof, and how people are affected by it. Many books are called "page turners" and this one really is.
Profile Image for Gbemi.
Author 2 books2 followers
October 13, 2020
This book narrates the story of a young girl, Mei who somehow escapes being sold to a stranger by her aunt. And then, goes missing years later.

Quinton Mills, a grouchy security consultant first met Mei when she was first rescued. He was captivated by her fighting spirit and became a part of life.

So, when she went missing, he knew he had to comb through several travel barriers, political issues and a network of corrupt connections to solve the mystery of her disappearance.

This took me a while to finish, mostly because it was very emotional and I had to pause multiple times to recover from the all the tension.
123 reviews3 followers
September 30, 2020
Quinn is desparately searching for twelve year-old Mei who has been taken by human traffickers. She could be anywhere in the world enduring any number of horrors, and the longer she's gone, the worse her odds. This book is told from Quinn's point of view, with snippets of letters Mei wrote to him giving insight to her personality and their bond. This book was well-written and sheds light on the sobering scope of trafficking and its horrors. The pace is a little slow which intensifies the feeling of running out of time. The subject is difficult but it's worth the read.
157 reviews7 followers
January 6, 2021
Beasts of the Night is a dense book, stuffed with emotions, fraught with futility. Sometimes you want to put it down and just cant. Sometimes you dont want to pick it up but you are driven by the main characters need to finish what he has started. It is absolutely fiction, sometimes unbelieveable, but you want to believe someone would care that much about you. Where will this author go next?

I received an advance review copy for free and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
September 25, 2020
This book had me hooked from the beginning. A real page turner. The story spans a number of countries across the globe and each locale is brought to life through vivid description. The author addresses a real world issue through the eyes of his flawed protagonist, in an intense and credible way. Highly recommended.
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