|1910, Wellington, New Zealand. Lydia Harvey is sixteen, working long hours for low pay, when a glamorous couple invite her to Buenos Aires. She accepts - and disappears.|
London, England. Amid a global panic about sex trafficking, detectives are tracking a ring of international criminals when they find a young woman on the streets of Soho who might be the key to cracking the whole case.
As more people are drawn into Lydia's life and the trial at the Old Bailey, the world is being reshaped into a new, global era. Choices are being made - about who gets to cross borders, whose stories matter and what justice looks like - that will shape the next century. In this immersive account, historian Julia Laite traces Lydia Harvey through the fragments she left behind to build an extraordinary story of aspiration, exploitation and survival - and one woman trying to build a life among the forces of history.
"A gripping, unputdownable masterpiece of scholarly historical research and true crime writing. Julia Laite explores the sordid world of crime, sex and international policing in 1910 by focusing on the individuals caught up in an elaborate web of exploitation. Readers who loved The Five will find this story and its skilful telling equally as enthralling" - Hallie Rubenhold, author, The Five
"Demonstrates how, with determination, sensitivity and a careful dose of imagination, extraordinary recoveries are possible ... Laite has taken her slim archival trace and immeasurably enriched it; she has reclaimed a woman's life and restored a more complex reality to the record". - Sarah Watling, Guardian