Margaret Dardess


When a battered young woman arrives secretly at her free clinic, only to die minutes later, clinic director Alex Harrington suddenly finds herself in the terrifying world of human trafficking, and everything she thought about her life turns out to be untrue. Her determination to find the people responsible for the woman's death sends her on a journey that will take her from swanky Southern country clubs to seamy Mexican cartel compounds, confronting double-dealing lawyers and vicious gang members, and she learns that sometimes it is the most innocent and ordinary places that hide the most terrible secrets.

Frequent Questions

How did you get the idea for this book?

I was inspired by an eye-opening meeting with a woman who successfully escaped from human traffickers and made a life for herself and her children in the U.S.


Readers Favorite
- March 2017

Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite

Brutal Silence by Margaret Dardess is a gritty and realistic fiction novel on the topic of human sex trafficking. Alex Harrington from North Carolina is on a trip to Mexico with her friend. Although warned of the dangers of traveling alone outside Mexico City, Alex boards a public bus to do some sightseeing by herself. However, every woman’s worst nightmare comes true when she is kidnapped and finds herself among other victims of sex trafficking. Fortunately, she manages to run away but the trauma and the experience stay with her and, once back home, she is determined to do all she can to fight this human sex trade. However, she soon finds that her past experiences have caught up with her as she finds herself a target. What follows is a gripping thriller as Alex tries to grapple with the world she once thought was innocent, and faces the harsh realities of what really goes in the world of forced prostitution and sex trade all over the world.

Brutal Silence by Margaret Dardess is an intense novel about, unfortunately, a very real and widespread crime perpetrated all over the world. The scenes and narrative in the book provide insights into how vast this network of human trafficking is, along with the harsh realities of the very young girls, and even children, who are forced into this trade for various reasons and circumstances. Although this is a grim subject, Margaret has tackled it with just the right amount of realism and sensitivity. I hope a book like this motivates other readers to fight this crime, just like Alex does. A very well written book that I would highly recommend reading.

Where to Buy Brutal Silence is available for sale on & IndiBound