Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Suzanne Chazin
Kensington Books
October 27, 2015

On one of their few free nights together, Jimmy Vega and his girlfriend, Adele Figueroa, make a bad decision. That decision not only has a devastating effect on their relationship but wide-ranging effects in the immigrant community. Adele receives a call from her community center telling her that a well-known drunken vagrant has come in raving about seeing the Virgin Mary in the woods with a baby. Adele thinks she should go over and check it out, but Jimmy persuades her that it's nothing. No one can believe a story from such a notorious source. The booze has addled his brain. When Jimmy's cell phone rings in the early morning hours, calling him out to a death scene in those same woods, the two are devastated. Jimmy has been feeling that Adele is pulling away from him for several weeks; will this end the relationship for good? The dead body in the woods sets in motion a chain of shocking discoveries about some of the highest placed persons in Lake Holly. Not only are there predators among the immigrants, but those who pretend to be advocating for them.

A Blossom of Bright Light kept me on the edge of my seat and reading into the early hours. Once again, Suzanne Chazin has written a suspenseful novel with all too fallible characters. The innocence of the victims was, for me at least, very hard to deal with. Adele is fighting hard to keep the Serrano family from deportation, find out who is guilty of the murder and to resolve her own issues with her daughter as well as decide on a change of career. Jimmy, too, has his own family issues and the guilt of ignoring the telephone call. The ending is a real nail-biter, with what has to be the most unusual attempted murder imaginable. 

I highly recommend A Blossom of Bright Light for anyone who likes a thriller with heart as well as thrills. Both this and the earlier book, Land of Careful Shadows, address issues that are all too often glossed over in the politically charged discussions of immigration today. Thanks to NetGalley.com and Kensington Books for an advance digital copy in return for an honest review.

RATING- 4.5 Stars

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