Sunday, September 24, 2017
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
A PLACE IN THE WIND
A Jimmy Vega Mystery #4
September 26, 2017
Suzanne Chazin has taken her personal experience with outreach to the immigrant population and her considerable writing skills to produce a stellar series on one of the "hot-button" issues of the day. Jimmy Vega is a Bronx-born Hispanic cop who now lives and works in the fictional upstate New York town of Lake Holly. After his involvement in the shooting of an unarmed man in the previous book, No Witness but the Moon, Jimmy is on desk duty and keeping his head down. His attempt to keep a low profile goes out the window when a teenage volunteer at the local outreach center, La Casa, goes missing and is found dead in the woods. La Casa is run by Jimmy's girlfriend, Harvard educated lawyer Adele Figueroa, so Jimmy can hardly avoid getting involved. Disaster strikes in the form of a botched surrender and Jimmy is assigned to be the driver for a local politician whose primary focus is immigrant bashing. Racial tensions in Lake Holly, always high, ratchet up to a level that threatens the peace of the community, and Jimmy's and Adele's relationship and careers.
A Place in the Wind takes us deep into the lives and hearts of two undocumented Guatemalan brothers, Wilfredo Martinez and Rolando Benitez. Wil has the protection of DACA, works multiple jobs, goes to school, dreams of becoming a doctor and tries to keep tabs on his brother. Rolando is wounded by his experiences, both in Guatemala and in the US and is a barely functional drunk. This case of the dead girl will throw both into the teeth of an unforgiving legal and immigration system. The characters in this series are extraordinarily well-rounded, and most of them from previous books make an appearance. A welcome addition is Mr. Zimmerman, Adele's elderly neighbor, who is much more than he appears to be. I highly recommend the Jimmy Vega Mysteries to fans of suspense and police procedurals that are firmly grounded in the events of today.
Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for an advance digital copy. The opinions are my own.