On his best days, Zero Slade is the worst man you can imagine. He has to be. It's the only way to save the Lost Girls. During his seven years on a team fighting sex trafficking, Zero's become quite good at schmoozing with pimps, getting handcuffed by cops and pretending not to care about the young girls he liberates. But the dangerous sting operations are starting to take their toll on his marriage and sanity. His affinity for prescription painkillers isn't exactly helping matters. When the youngest girl the team has ever rescued gets abducted from a safe house in Cambodia, Zero decides to risk everything to find her. His only shot is to go rogue, and sink deeper into the bowels of the trafficking world than he's ever sunk. It's the biggest mission of his life. Trouble is, it's almost certain death.
If there are words to describe the excellence of this book - and that of his other works "Sick To Death" and "The Exit Man" - I am still in search of them. I just finished reading this book about 10 minutes ago, and I am struggling to summarize the many emotions that Greg's writing has brought upon me. Once again, I am speechless (in a good way).
Greg's ability to concoct dark and despicable characters, while simultaneously steeping them in a broth of redeeming humanity, satisfies a hunger I never knew I had. He touches on a sensitive nerve in our society, placing the reader into the shoes of self-deprecating substance addicts, terminally ill (anti?)heroes, and angels of death encased in human flesh. Yet, he somehow manages to bring us full-circle to a point of acceptance and understanding every single time. The world is and (unfortunately) always will be full of some terrible characters - if only they could all be as likable and forgivable as the characters Greg has dreamed up for our hungry imaginations.
This book is a bit darker than his other works, but it was a welcome shift. I have a personal issue with summarizing plots and characters, as I think a true lover of reading should avoid the second-guessing and follow their gut instinct. If you've gotten so far as to read the main summary and are delving into reviews, I urge you to take the leap and give the book a chance. Greg's characters are canvases on which we paint our own beliefs, ideals and desires - you may just be surprised as you emerge from the book with a new best friend by your side; someone you can truly say you understand and have bonded with.
Have you ever tried to summarize the life and personality of someone you truly love - someone you have grown to understand and accept despite all of their qualities that turn others away? If so, you know that it is damn near impossible, and that is the predicament I find myself in every time I finish reading one of Greg's books. Deep down inside an unreachable place of my heart, I have developed a love for his characters and the worlds he has created, but I will never be able to show you the blinding light cloaked by the layers of suffocating darkness in his works.
This blinding light, you will have to find on your own. But believe me when I say that once you have found it, you will never be without.
(Side Note: I reached out to Greg Levin personally on his blog after finishing his book "The Exit Man", and felt it important to (try to) tell him just how helpful it was during the time of my uncle-in-law's final days with terminal lung cancer. I expected no response, as I simply wanted him to know how much of an impact his works could have on one simple person's life (if only to encourage him to keep writing for all of our sake). No matter, as he responded with more compassion and care than I could have ever imagined. Greg is not only a fantastic author, but also a genuinely sweet person with an unbounded heart for both his readers and his family/friends. For this reason alone, I suggest you give his books a shot. Authors like this are the holy grail of fiction.)
In Wolves’ Clothing, Greg Levin has given us another literary gift. Meet Zero, his flawed anti-hero, who somehow found his calling working to stop the criminals infesting the underbellies of the child-trafficking world. How his career path got him there is anyone’s guess, but we're all thankful that there are people like him doing this job...and equally thankful that it isn’t us. Most of us would pick a nice safe job in a cubicle over a job like the one that Zero has chosen, but someone’s got to do it and no one does it better than our protagonist. The dilemma for Zero is that one needs the hide of a rhinoceros to wake up every day and do it again and again. And then, when he’s not at work, he struggles to connect with the outside world, which of course affects his marriage and relationships. Small talk is not his forte. This man has experienced more than any of us would ever want to know.
At times, it feels like it’s Zero against the world. Levin takes us on a journey where we feel Zero’s physical and emotion struggle. We watch him literally and figuratively trying to keep himself together.
It dawned on me while I was reading this book that any onlooker might have seen my mouth dropped for much of it. I’m a big fan of Mr. Levin’s work, having read all his published novels, and this one is my favorite. He has a remarkable way of balancing a dark subject, with multi-dimensional characters that never seem to lose their sense of humor. This is a fast-paced book and, as with all his novels, it will keep you guessing to the end. Big thumbs up from this reader!
Admittedly I was hesitant to delve into Mr. Levin’s new nightmare topic – child sex trafficking. But don’t let the subject scare you away from this novel. Mr. Levin handles it with sensitivity and solemnity, and yes, humor. We get to see into the life of Zero, whose career is to go undercover to find and bring children to safety. Knowing that we are reading about something that happens in the real world is disturbing enough, so I was thankful this was written without gruesome unnecessary details. We clearly knew what was happening without the shock factor. Zero is an absolute mess of a human being but he is endearing and relatable all the same. Even though the topic is sickening, G.L. did it justice. He managed to sprinkle in some well-placed humor in this evil world as well, while shedding light on a truly dreadful matter. Even if this isn’t your favorite genre, go read it. You won’t be sorry.
Zero gets a 10! So does Greg Levin. Once again he masterfully writes on a topic untouched. In Wolves Clothing is a perfect escape from our new reality, I could not put it down.
Levin's mind is a unique one, his character development draws you deep into Zero's personal life and his psychological reason for tracking down the worst of the worst. Child sex trafficking is a topic rarely written about and Levin's book, I believe, is going to expose this dark practice to the masses where we can start talking about how to end it.
I've read Levin's last 2 books and In Wolves' Clothing is, I think, his best. I feel like I have witnessed a Dark Humor Master in the making. He's made it!! Levin better start writing fast because I can't wait to see where he goes next, in the meantime I think I will read this again. It's worth a repeat read.
I finished In Wolves' Clothing a little over 24 hours ago and am still struggling to find the words to describe it, and to get it out of my mind. This is one of the best books I have ever read. I know that's heady praise but Greg Levin's ability to tell such a painful, horrible story and make it funny and inspirational deserve it.
If you’re in the market for a smart, propulsive novel that combines a compelling narrator, a dark, fascinating world that has not been explored much in fiction before, page-turning thrills and expert character development, In Wolves’ Clothing fits the bill on all fronts.
Zero, our protagonist, is part of a small group of undercover agents battling the sex trafficking of minor girls all over the world, exposing the pimps and their various accomplices and giving the abused girls a chance at liberation and a better life. I was somewhat hesitant whether I wanted to enter this bleak world before embarking on this novel, but Zero proves to be the ideal guide: sharp and irreverent but never flippant, with a unique, memorable voice that reflects both the defense and coping mechanisms necessary for someone in this line of work, and the vulnerability and humanity that survive these mechanisms, despite, it sometimes seems, Zero’s best efforts.
The novel balances the momentum of a well-plotted thriller with the appeal of well-drawn, complex characters. There is a lot at stake here, and I found myself equally invested in the intrigue of Zero’s professional life, including a series of heart-stopping scenes of undercover sting operations, and the related challenges of his personal life—an unacknowledged painkiller addiction and a faltering marriage. If you’re like me, you won’t even know how deeply Levin’s got his hooks into you until you reach the wild roller-coaster ride that is the last third of the book, when I found myself trying to turn the pages almost faster than my fingers were capable of moving.
In Wolves’ Clothing has plenty of heart, guts and brains, not to mention characters that will stay with you long after you’ve finished the book.
If you like the TV series “Narcos,” you’re sure to love this book. Greg Levin has used his now famous talent for witty dialogue to take the reader into the international underworld of child sex trafficking, a world of screaming, tortured, confused, helpless little girls - and despicable bad guys who sell and rent them. A world where the good guys have opiod addictions, and guilty memories, and problems holding their marriages together. A world where the good guys mimic sleazy rich sex tourists to rescue little girls in Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Mumbai, Puerto Plata, Guadalajara and elsewhere. And where the good guys risk their lives by collaborating with local police who might be in the pay of the bad guys. This book is extremely well-researched and I imagine Greg Levin’s web browsing habits are under constant surveillance by numerous US and international agencies now.
A riveting, fast-paced novel replete with unexpected twists and turns, Greg Levin's "In Wolves' Clothing" is an immensely satisfying read by an author that has a genuine flair for originality and narrative driven action. A non-stop suspense thriller. Unabashedly and unreservedly recommended.
Levin movingly conveys the stomach-churning horrors of child sex trafficking in this effective thriller. Zero Slade works for Operation Emancipation, a globe-trotting group of operatives with intelligence backgrounds, who pose as prospective clients as a way to bust the traffickers and liberate their young captives. After one such mission, while waiting for a flight from Guadalajara, Mexico, to L.A., Zero muses: “Before I joined Operation Emancipation, I was just like the dozens of people fuming at Gate A-11 right now. Flight delays would ruin my day.... Now I can smile and whistle while walking through a pediatric cancer ward.” Zero feels deep empathy for the helpless victims he labors to save at great personal risk. The conflict between a facade of professionalism and heartfelt involvement with the suffering he witnesses reaches a head after he bonds with Sung, a five-year-old girl he rescues in Cambodia. Zero does his best to keep Sung safe, but more perils for the girl lie ahead. Levin provides a window into one of the world’s darkest underbellies, while somehow managing to insert appropriate lighter moments, as when Zero meets a new recruit to OE, a Buddhist former FBI agent. This author deserves a wide audience.
I love Greg Levin’s books and always look forward to his next one. In this book he takes on the child sex trafficking trade. His main character Zero is flawed but who wouldn’t be doing the job he does of rescuing these children? I love Greg’s style of writing. He tackles subjects that many people are uncomfortable talking about. The author has a dark, quirky, wicked sense of humour that shows in his books and is one reason I love to read his books. But the underlying theme especially in this book is always serious. He does his research well and I always come away having learned a lot about the particular subject he’s chosen to write about. He’s that good he’s made it to my list of must read, all time favourite authors. You won’t regret reading this book especially as it brings much needed awareness to the child sex trafficking trade.
AUSTIN, TX, October 11, 2017 – Zero Slade is not a bad man—he merely plays one when saving children’s lives.
In Greg Levin’s new psychological thriller In Wolves’ Clothing, ex-CIA agent Zero Slade and his team travel the globe posing as pedophiles to liberate victims of child sex trafficking and lock away perpetrators. But the dangerous missions, coupled with Zero’s affinity for opioids, are starting to erode his job performance, marriage and sanity. The only thing that can save him now is a little Cambodian girl. Trouble is, he has to find her first.
The book, which Levin had the honor of workshopping with author and cult icon Chuck Palahniuk, was inspired by a humanitarian trip Levin’s wife took to Cambodia in 2016 to build an art center for children rescued from sex trafficking.
“My wife came home and showed me pictures of all these smiling, resilient young girls at the safe house she visited,” explains Levin. “When she told me the incredible way in which the girls had been freed from the horrors of sex slavery, I couldn’t not write about it.”
As part of his research, Levin interviewed Radd Berrett, who spent over two years with Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) carrying out the type of sting operations depicted in In Wolves’ Clothing. Berrett was initially hesitant about having such important work fictionalized, but says he’s thrilled with the end result.
“The book does justice to and raises awareness of an absolutely critical problem plaguing society today,” says Berrett. “And Levin’s blazing prose and acerbic wit capture the madness—and the humanity—of working undercover in the darkest corners.”
In Wolves’ Clothing is available now on Amazon as a paperback as well as a Kindle ebook. Learn more at http://greglevin.com/novels/in-wolves-clothing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Greg Levin is an award-winning author of contemporary fiction whose work has been optioned by HBO and Showtime. His new novel, In Wolves’ Clothing, is out now. Greg resides with his wife, daughter and two cats in Austin, Texas. For more information on Greg and his books, visit his website at greglevin.com.
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Contact: Greg Levin, firstname.lastname@example.org, (410) 507-5010