I’m a homicide detective. Well, I was a homicide detective. Until I shot an unarmed man who I thought was fleeing a robbery. I had eighteen unblemished years with the county police and it all fell apart in two fateful seconds.
I got kicked down to desk duty. My grown daughter became ashamed of me. My girlfriend, Adele, almost left. She’s a Harvard-trained attorney and head of an outreach center for immigrants.
The man I shot was an immigrant. You can imagine how that went over between us.
Even before the shooting, Adele and I were different people. I’m a Bronx kid who drifted so far from my Puerto Rican roots, I have a Jewish ex-wife and a daughter who can recite the Torah better than she can speak Spanish. I became a cop because I believe in the law. I believe that right and wrong aren’t conditional. For Adele, it’s a little different. Her parents were undocumented immigrants from Ecuador. She grew up in fear of cops.
Our jobs put us at odds with each other sometimes. Plus, we live in a county an hour north of New York City that’s picture-postcard pretty but full of extremes. We’ve got Wall Street bankers and immigrants who sleep six to a room. It’s not easy keeping the peace in a place where wealth and want keep bumping up against one another.
Since the shooting, I’ve been trying to pick up the pieces of my life. Music was my first love and it’s still my salvation. I play guitar and sing lead vocals in a rock band. “Armado,” we call ourselves. That’s Spanish for “Armed,” a little inside joke. All five band members are in law enforcement. Which means half the gigs we play expect us to double as unpaid security and the other half think we’re going to narc them out.
Telling someone you’re a cop never elicits a neutral reaction.
The other thing that soothes me these days is my dog, Diablo. Adele gave him to me after one of her clients couldn’t keep him anymore. He’s a total space hog. Share a bed with him and by the morning, he’s in the middle and you’re sleeping in one corner.
Adele, my music and my dog were doing a pretty good job of keeping me sane. Until one bitterly cold January night when all that wealth and want collided. It happened in the pretty little village of Lake Holly. A seventeen-year-old girl from a prominent local family went to Adele’s outreach center to tutor English to immigrants—and vanished. The last people to see her were the men she tutored, some of whom are in this country without papers.
Tensions are escalating by the minute, fanned in part by our new county supervisor, a man with strict views on immigration and a hunger for higher office. The town wants their pound of flesh. The immigrants are scared. If I don’t find out what happened to this girl soon, it won’t just be my future going down in flames. Or Adele’s.
It will be the entire town of Lake Holly.
You can read more about Jimmy in A Place in the Wind, the fourth book in the “Jimmy Vega” mystery series.
The disappearance of a teenage girl in upstate New York sets off a powder keg of accusations, bigotry, and fear—with deadly results—in Suzanne Chazin’s stunning new mystery featuring Hispanic police detective Jimmy Vega . . .
On a frigid, January night, a blond, blue-eyed high school girl walks out of an English class she tutors for immigrants—and vanishes. Suspicion quickly falls on the men she was teaching, many of whom are undocumented. As disturbing evidence trickles in, news of the incident spreads beyond the scenic town of Lake Holly, New York, unearthing deep-seated fears and enflaming cultural tensions.
For county police detective Jimmy Vega, the situation is personal. His girlfriend, Harvard-educated attorney Adele Figueroa, heads the immigrant center where the teen volunteer disappeared. If Vega can’t find the girl soon and clear Adele’s clients, the place of refuge may be forced to shut its doors. Still reeling over his own recent career missteps, Vega does his best to run interference between Adele and the local police. But when Vega’s boss assigns him a grunt detail working for the new county supervisor, the man’s political ambitions clash with Vega’s deepest convictions. Vega can’t imagine a worse turn of events—until he uncovers even darker forces at play. Someone wants to destroy far more than Vega’s career. And no matter which way he turns, every step will put him and his family in the killer’s cross-hairs.
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About the author
Suzanne Chazin is an award-winning novelist and author of seven mysteries, including her fourth and newest Jimmy Vega, A Place in the Wind (Oct. 2017). Her novels have received praise from USA Today, People Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and such authors as Lee Child, Hallie Ephron, Robert Dugoni, Jeffrey Deaver, and William Kent Krueger. Suzanne’s first Jimmy Vega mystery, Land of Careful Shadows, was chosen as one of the five best genre mysteries of the year by the American Library Association. Her third Jimmy Vega, No Witness But the Moon was named one of the ten best books of the year by the New Jersey Star-Ledger. Visit Suzanne on Facebook or at suzannechazin.com.