The plot of Suzanne Chazin’s No Witness But the Moon tackles two of the most pressing issues facing society today – police-involved shootings and immigration. By weaving these two topics together, Chazin highlights the interconnectedness of all people and how society’s ills are everyone’s problem.
The success of No Witness But the Moon rests largely in the reader’s ability to relate to the stressful situation that precedes and precipitates a police-involved shooting. Fortunately, Chazin jumps right into this scene with the first chapter and convincingly portrays the confusion, risk, and spontaneity intrinsic to such high-tension moments. Without the validity of that moment, the entire book would have crumbled.
The homicide detective lead of the series, Jimmy Vega, has shot and killed an unarmed Hispanic man. What follows is a skillfully rendered documentation of the post-traumatic stress issues faced by the officer, the department and public’s attempts to understand what happened, and the shock forced upon the dead man’s family.
How this ties into the immigration issue is best left for the reader to discover as they read No Witness But the Moon, but it is worth noting that Chazin does an admirable job of relating the concept of job-related post-traumatic stress to the psychological damage faced by children of immigrants when separated from their loved ones.
The shooting incident also ties into Jimmy Vega’s past and the unsolved murder of his mother years before. This plus the conflict he now has with his girlfriend – who works with immigration outreach – continue to pile on Jimmy’s psyche to such an extent that reader’s can’t help but feel the pressure he is under. Each turn of the page risks yet another potential weight added to his shoulders. How much more can he take?
No Witness But the Moon is the third book in the Jimmy Vega series, but readers should know that it works perfectly fine as an introduction to the series. New readers will have no troubles connecting with Vega and Suzanne Chazin’s writing talent is immediately evident. Especially in this time when diversity in literature is such a hot-button topic, Jimmy Vega and his creator Suzanne Chazin need to be championed.
Disclaimer: A print copy of this title was provided to BOLO Books by the author. No review was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the book.