Throwaways, the first book in the Jake Savage Mystery Series, is now available as an Audible book. Listen to the sample by clicking the Listen Hear text below.

Cover Art for Throwaways by Elliott Light

The body of a young girl drifts over a reef where Jake Savage is photographing lionfish, beautiful brown-striped creatures with feathery pectoral fins that could almost make one forget their venomous spines. For an instant, Jake thinks she might be watching him, but she has no snorkel or mask. She isn’t wearing a swimsuit, but rather is clad in only a shirt and panties. And she can’t have looked at him because she has no eyes. What has this child done to die so young, to be forgotten and left to drift until consumed by the creatures of the sea?

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Imagine you’re in your late twenties. School is behind you.  You have money, a beautiful wife, lots of friends.  Everything you ever wanted is at your fingertips.

And then suddenly, it’s all taken from you.

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Syndey Vail, once a beautiful soap opera star, now has a passion for championing the rights of animals—but she keeps the controversial methods of her cause as shrouded as she keeps her partially disfigured face. Sydney enters lawyer-cum-detective Shep Harrington’s life in a cloud of dust and vanishes just as quickly, leaving behind two very different but strangely connected things: a chimpanzee and a murder.

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It was eugenics that compelled white doctors to attempt to murder Baby John. It was compassion that led to his kidnapping. And it is the cruelest of circumstances – the murder of Jennifer Rice – that 50 years later leads Shep Harrington to search for Baby John.

Question begets question, and the slide down the slope proves inevitable: What happened to the baby? Who took it? Why was he taken? And who killed Jennifer Rice?

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Becoming Real

Do you remember where you were and what you were thinking in January of 2020? What were the issues that floated through your mind before the words “corona virus” popped up in your daily conversations? When did COVID-19 become real? When schools closed? When a loved-one got sick or, worse, died?

If you are interested in one man’s journey through COVID blindness, read Tony Green, What Are We So Afraid Of?, Washington Post, October 11, 2020.

Cover Art for Throwaways by Elliott Light
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Throwaways is a book about children we don’t see. Jake Savage, the protagonist of the book, doesn’t wake up wondering about young girls who are being trafficked for sex. He is more concerned with the damaged caused by lionfish than the plight of girls who have learned to live on the street. That’s not to say that the lionfish invasion isn’t important. But until Jake encountered the body of young girl floating in the Gulf, homeless girls weren’t on his radar. Hisfirst reaction is to want to help, that is, until someone who understands these girls sets him straight:

“For the love of God, you have no idea what you’re dealing with. You’ve got a heart full of good intentions and a head filled with images of homeless girls pining for home. They aren’t. By the time they get here, they’re feral. They’re throwaways. No one’s looking for them because they aren’t wanted. The ones who make it here have acquired survival skills the hard way. A few make it back to the world you live in. Most don’t.”

Throwaways is a novel. But while the story is fiction, the problem isn’t. Children leave home every day and become prey for predators. Perhaps in the process of entertaining, Throwaways will also enlighten. Hopefully, the story will stimulate conversation that will lead to questions. 

The first step to saving these kids is to see them.