Narrator: Armando Duran
Series: Jimmy Vega Mystery #1
Published by Blackstone Audiobooks on November 25, 2014
Length: 11 hours, 11 minutes
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Land of Careful Shadows by award-winning author Suzanne Chazin is a powerful mystery full of passion and secrets that deals with a clash of cultures and familial relationships, and it's full of drama, mystery, and raw emotions.
When the dead body of a Latino woman is found in a reservoir about 50 miles north of Manhattan, with a photo of a baby in her purse nearby, the police try to determine who the child is and if it is still alive. Along with the photo, they also find a disturbing note in the purse: "Go back to your country. You don't belong here."
Homicide detective Jimmy Vega is Latino too, so he knows how hard it can be for an outsider to fit into a close-knit town like Lake Holly. Vega is a highly respected officer of the law, and he is challenged and intrigued by Adele Figueroa, a passionate defender of immigrants' rights. Vega must rethink everything he believes in order to uncover the truths about his town, his family, and himself.
Land of Careful Shadows is a tour de force of literary suspense and an intimate journey into the human heart.
I found this Jimmy Vega Mystery series in a review at a friend’s blog and decided I needed to try it. I’ve been in a full on mystery / suspense/ thriller type binge. Land of Careful Shadows is a police procedural of sorts, but so much more.
The main character is Jimmy Vega, a state homicide detective, and of Hispanic background. His hometown, Lake Holly, New York seems to have quite a large population of immigrants and undocumented Hispanics from a variety of countries. Jimmy is of Puerto Rican heritage.
Jimmy had been a victim of racial profiling in his past, which caused him to lose a music scholarship and changed the course of his life and career. He comes up against the prejudices and profiling as he tries to solve the death and suspected homicide of an undocumented Guatemalan woman, and hunt for her child.
It would be easy for law enforcement if another undocumented person was responsible since they wouldn’t have to look at any of their “own” people. There are also a variety of hate crimes happening which may or may not be related. Jimmy needs information and witnesses to solve these crimes and the actual information may lie with the Hispanic community.
I was struck by the issues of immigration, what is right, and what is legal, and how difficult a line it is. Jimmy’s past and present collide and present real dilemmas for him as he works to solve the crimes and do what is right and legal.
The tone and accents in the narration felt very authentic, yet the voices were easy to understand and comfortable for listening. Both male and female voices were well performed. I enjoyed listening at my usual 1.5x speed.
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