Extreme Vetting by Roxana Arama was a fantastic thriller. Its main character, Laura Holban, is a strong, single mother and immigration attorney. To say Holban is busy would be an understatement. Juggling fifty-two immigration cases, Holban spends her days helping clients seek asylum, obtain green cards, and fight ICE, amongst many other duties. A Romanian immigrant herself, she understands all too well the difficulties of language barriers, racial microaggressions, and the struggle to simply fit into America.
One day, Laura gets an email from sixteen-year-old David Ramirez, pleading with her to help his father Emilio, who was recently taken by ICE at his school. Although Laura deeply wants to help David, she simply has too much on her plate; responding with kindness, she refers David to other lawyers whom he may seek help from. David, however, is persistent. After finding Holban’s address and arriving at her home, she agrees to take on Emilio’s case. Laura, however, has no idea how much she is getting into. After applying for Emilio’s asylum, the story takes a turn. Between false criminal charges, stalkers, corrupt ICE employees, gang threats, stolen data, and human trafficking, there is much crime, adventure, and suspense in store for the reader. Will Emilio be released from ICE, or will he be deported back to Guatemala, where death threats and danger await him? Will the Holban and Ramirez families be able to remain safe in such turmoil?
Extreme Vetting was unlike any thriller I have ever read; Arama kept me on my toes the entire novel, eager to know what the future holds for Emilio and his family. I appreciated how knowledgeable Arama was about the immigration process and her sensitivity to the struggles and major obstacles these peoples face. Truly a timely book, this novel can be an eye-opener to the violence and aggression, so many immigrants are fleeing from.
I also have to applaud Arama for how this book was written. Alternating between the viewpoints of Laura Holban, David Ramirez, ICE employee Mason Waltman, and Emilio Ramirez, the reader is able to see each perspective from every character so perfectly. The reader gets to see what an immigration attorney faces fighting for a client, how an ICE employee may feel about these displaced peoples and the actual viewpoint of an immigrant and his family. This change of viewpoint enhanced the book tremendously, as it allowed for better comprehension and sympathy for every stakeholder at hand.
Overall, I would highly recommend Extreme Vetting to all readers who enjoy thrillers as well as novels about crime, political or legal matters, and suspense.
|Page Count||288 pages|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|
|Category||Mystery, Crime & Thriller|