cover image Lives Laid Away

Lives Laid Away

Stephen Mack Jones. Soho Crime, $26.95 (312p) ISBN 978-1-61695-959-3

Jones effectively dramatizes the Trump administration’s approach to illegal immigration in his superior second novel featuring ex-cop August Snow (after 2017’s August Snow). Snow was forced out of the Detroit PD after he began digging into allegations that the former mayor was corrupt. The wrongful dismissal lawsuit he filed yielded a multimillion-dollar payday, and Snow has chosen to invest that money in his old neighborhood of Mexicantown. The community he is working to help comes under threat from an ICE crackdown, an initiative that coincides with the death of 19-year-old Isadora del Torres, an undocumented alien who leaped into the Detroit River while dressed as Marie Antoinette. Snow learns that the dead teenager was the victim of a vicious human trafficking ring that may involve corrupt immigration agents. Snow, who is of mixed African-American and Mexican heritage, is an uncompromising crusader with a sense of humor reminiscent of Robert Parker’s Spenser. He merits a long literary life. Agent: Stephany Evans, FinePrint Literary Management. (Jan.)