“The Illuminati Protocol” by Robert J. Ristino has many of the elements I look for in a good book: genuine, fleshed-out characters, well-detailed locales and settings, a complex, but believable plot, and some emotional engagement.  For the most part it was an easy read that held on to my attention, although at times I did feel the pace was perhaps a bit too erratic and lacked the necessary thrust to make me *have* to keep reading – but this was more in the beginning where there is more backstory and setup, and I feel it got better as it went along and the pace picked up. It has a very “big” feel to it, which I liked – it spans over different parts of the world and with a wide cast of characters. So even for a shorter book it still has that ‘epic’ feel, which is nice. Could benefit from an editor as there are some typos/punctuation things I noticed (very minor though) and to be honest I was confused by the fact that the trafficking ring was known as part of the Illuminati, but the Illuminati is actually a real thing, a real group (secret or not), but they are not sex traffickers – so I though there should have been more of a clear distinction made (or a different name). But other than that I thought the storyline was fantastic and I enjoyed the addition of the dogs as well. Recommended for older readers due to sensitive subject matter – definitely not a “teen” or “young adult” book. (3-4 stars)Sam Ryan— Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers