“Mami! Papi! Estoy aqui!” she screamed, but the man pressed his hand hard over her mouth and said roughly, “Listen! Listen to me, little girl. You have to stay here and you can’t move. Do you understand? If you get up and try to find your Mami, you will die.” He pulled her face sharply towards him. “Don’t move, and don’t make any noise, understand?”

The Lady In Blue: A Maria Chavez Mystery

The Missing Pieces…

The compelling hero of this southwestern suspense novel is 29-year-old Detective Maria Chavez who investigates the brutal murders of two innocents in the barrio with a tenacity that is both personal and professional. As she and Border Patrol Agent Joe Carter search for answers, they find themselves drawn inexorably into the shadowy world of the area’s largest criminal cartel, an organization that runs dog fights, distributes drugs, and preys on those who enter the country illegally in search of a better life.

When a child witness disappears, Maria and Joe race from the back rooms and squad cars of an urban police department into the borderlands scarred with smuggling trails. The book’s deeply layered and provocative portrait of the dark underworld along the Mexican border is as riveting as the fast moving plot that takes a number of intriguing and unexpected turns. Maria and Joe become increasingly involved in the desperate life and death struggles of illegal immigrants whose flight north side snares them in the nets of the cartels. At the same time, Maria finds herself unwillingly pulled into a parallel search for clues to her early life as an illegal immigrant. Her intensely personal relationship with Joe Carter and the startling revelations that come to light about her own desert crossing ultimately force her to confront the dark puzzle that has haunted her life since childhood.

“The cops and crooks level of the mystery is mesmerizing to the end. Cell phones, moles, merciless violence, rival strategies, and dumb luck characterize both sides, in the competition for information (which is rarely trustworthy) and victory (which is never complete).  A deeper mystery is subtly woven, unresolved, into the story.  It probes humanity’s unexplainable capacity for both evil and good, and the pathos faced by ordinary people caught in the crossfire of those two propensities.  Their age-old desperation is caught in a Spanish proverb, “La vida baja por el dren, como tierra en el fregadero.” “Life goes down the drain, like dirt in a sink.”  In the end, the reader is left to ponder whether Maria’s work, or anyone else’s, makes any lasting difference. ”  –Gordon S. Bates, historywire.com

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Jeanne’s book, The Lady in Blue: A Maria Chavez Mystery, is now available on Kindle! Visit Amazon.com to purchase the book or the Kindle edition.

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