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Land of Careful Shadows by Suzanne Chazin

Land of Careful Shadows (A Jimmy Vega Mystery) by Suzanne Chazin (2014-11-25) - Suzanne Chazin

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I thought that this was a really well-done detective story. This is one of those books that I have had no my tbr forever but kept skipping over it for one reason or another. I am glad that I finally dusted it off and gave it a try. I liked this book from that very start and found that I felt invested in the mystery. I had a great time with this book.

Jimmy Vega is a detective in New York state. He is called to the scene when the body of an undocumented female is found. Jimmy is a Latino and he realizes very quickly that the small town that he is working in may not give equal treatment to everyone. There is a large immigrant population in Lake Holly with many being undocumented. Not only does Jimmy want to learn how the woman died, but he is also trying to find out what happened to the child in the photograph that she had with her.

I liked Jimmy right away. He was a smart cop and because of his heritage, he was able to see both sides of the case a little clearer than some of his co-workers. He was determined to get answers about the woman's death and make sure the child was safe. He also wasn't afraid to question how things have been done in town and worked to right as many wrongs as he could. He had a few more personal matters to deal with in this story which made him seem a little easier to relate to. He doesn't do everything perfectly in this story but he works to learn from his mistakes and I always felt like he was trying to do what was right.

I loved the way the author was able to incorporate the lives of undocumented workers in this story. I found that the way she painted the picture of what their lives were like both in this country and at home was really powerful. I thought that the motivation of the characters to risk so much to come to the states for a chance to work felt very authentic. I really liked the way that we really were able to see both sides of this story.

Armando Durán was the perfect narrator for this story. There was quite a bit of Spanish sprinkled throughout the book and I thought that he made everything flow very well. Don't worry, you don't need to know how to speak Spanish to enjoy this book (I don't) but I thought the fact that the narrator made those passages sound natural was a big plus. I thought that he handled all of the character voices very well and was able to add a lot of excitement to the story. I wouldn't hesitate to listen to his work again.

I would recommend this book to fans of detective stories. I thought that this was a nicely plotted, complex mystery with really fantastic characters. I would not hesitate to read more of the Jimmy Vega series!

I received a digital review copy of this book from Kensington Books via NetGalley and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from my local library.

Initial Thoughts
This was a really good detective story. When the body of an undocumented woman is found, Jimmy Vega is called into the small town in New York to help with the investigation. It becomes obvious right away that immigrants in this town are not always treated fairly. I liked watching Vega work to not only find out what happened to the woman but work tirelessly to find her daughter. At the same time, he is juggling some issues with his own teenage daughter. I really liked the way this book touched on what it is like for someone living in this country illegally and what motivates someone to take that path. I listened to the audiobook and thought that the narrator did a fantastic job with this story.