Cover image for Land of careful shadows
Land of careful shadows
Chazin, Suzanne, author.
Personal Author:
First Kensington hardcover edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Kensington Books, 2014.

Physical Description:
340 pages ; 22 cm
Latino homicide detective Jimmy Vega must investigate the ethnically charged murder of a Hispanic woman found fifty miles north of New York City, as well as locate the baby pictured in a photograph found on the dead woman.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
FICTION Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
FICTION Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
FICTION Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
FICTION Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

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"A tremendous talent."--Lee Child

From award-winning author Suzanne Chazin comes a powerful novel of passion, bigotry, and murderous secrets in a homicide detective's picturesque hometown. . .

A body is found in a reservoir fifty miles north of New York City. The victim is young, female and Hispanic. In her purse, the police find a photograph of a baby they believe is her daughter--a little girl they can't identify. Or find. Where is the child? Is she still alive? And what is the meaning behind the disturbing note in the woman's bag? "Go back to your country. You don't belong here."

Arriving at the scene is homicide detective Jimmy Vega, who spent the better part of his childhood in the area and still carries the scars. A Latino himself, Vega knows all too well how hard it can be for an outsider to fit into a close-knit place like Lake Holly. Even now, as a respected officer of the law, he has to watch his step in an investigation simmering with ethnic animosities and steeped in local gossip. Both challenged and intrigued by Adele Figueroa--a passionate defender of immigrants' rights who reminds him uncomfortably of his own family's struggles--Vega must rethink everything he believes to uncover long-buried truths about his community, his loved ones . . . and himself.

Filled with drama, mystery and raw emotions, Land of Careful Shadows shines a nuanced and timely light on a small town's darkest secrets and deepest obsessions. It is not only a tour de force of literary suspense, but an intimate journey into the human heart.

Author Notes

Suzanne Chazin won widespread acclaim for the Jimmy Vega series, including Land of Careful Shadows, A Blossom of Bright Light, and No Witness But the Moon. She is also the author of the Georgia Skeehan mystery series, including The Fourth Angel, Flashover, and Fireplay. She has twice been the recipient of the Washington Irving Book Award for fiction. Her fiction, essays, and articles have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, as well as the award-winning short story anthology, Bronx Noir. She lives in the New York City area. Visit her on Facebook or at

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

When the body of an unidentified Latina turns up in a reservoir in the town of Lake Holly, near New York, the tranquility of the community is shattered. A note in her purse says, Go back to your country. You don't belong here. Detective Jimmy Vega, a Puerto Rican who works for the local county police, is very aware of the prevailing attitude toward undocumented immigrants, and this case ensnares him in a web of conflicting emotions, forcing him and others in the town to face dark secrets and unpleasant truths about friends and family. The intricate plot and the important social issues combine in this strong debut of a promising series.--Bibel, Barbara Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

This timely and engrossing series opener from Chazin (Fireplay) introduces Jimmy Vega, a Latino homicide detective who was raised by a single mother in Lake Holly, N.Y. The body of an unidentified Hispanic woman, her limbs bound with rope, has washed up on a local lake shore. Nearby the police find a handbag containing a photo of the victim with a baby girl, as well as a handwritten note that reads: "Go back to your country. You don't belong here." Lake Holly has always prided itself on its peaceful race relations, but has suffered a plague of hate crimes following the murder of a mother and her four-year-old daughter by an undocumented worker. Is the Hispanic woman simply another hate-crime victim? And what happened to the baby girl in the photograph? The engaging, psychologically complex Vega must confront unwelcome aspects of his past as his investigation builds to a shocking conclusion. Agent: Stephany Evans, FinePrint Literary Management. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

When a young Hispanic woman is found dead in a reservoir, Latino homicide detective Jimmy Vega is asked to assist his small hometown police department of Lake Holly, NY. The community is still reeling from another fatality caused by an undocumented Hispanic, who was drunk driving. Vega's return home isn't off to the best start when one of the local cops initially treats him like a suspect, and his ex-wife and teenage daughter ignore his calls. As Vega digs deeper into Lake Holly's immigrant population and the deeply held prejudice against them, he finds suspects and victims in unexpected places. Chazin (The Fourth Angel) wrote this first Jimmy Vega mystery after she began working on an outreach project with immigrants in suburban New York and learned more about the lives of the undocumented. Her respect for the courage and quiet determination of this community comes through in a nuanced story about race, class, and belonging. VERDICT Chazin delves into different perspectives, movingly showing both sides to a story. A good choice for mystery book clubs. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.