Official Review: Desert Jade by C.J. Shane

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Official Review: Desert Jade by C.J. Shane

Post by bruin » 15 May 2018, 12:50

[Following is an official review of "Desert Jade" by C.J. Shane.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Desert Jade is a mystery suspense novel that takes place in Arizona, near the Mexico border. The story begins by following an intense situation of a coyote smuggler leading a group of people across the Mexico border, with hope for a better life in Tucson, only to be abandoned in a vast desert without food or water. The author, C.J. Shane, shares the different points of view from the migrants, the coyotes who take advantage of them, and the humanitarians who want to help them.

The story transitions back and forth from the reservation into Tucson where Private Investigator, Letty Valdez, has been trying to solve what happened to Jade’s husband, Carlos. He went missing soon after he obtained a $100,00 grant. There were no signs of what happened to Carlos or the money. She tries to find connections with the activities on the reservation and what is happening in Tucson. Valdez keeps reaching dead ends to this case until she runs into a detective from China, Zhou Ling Wei. Zhou is sent to Arizona to search for a Hong Kong official’s missing teenage daughter. As he begins his search, other women get abducted and he is determined to find them all before it is too late.

Zhou & Valdez work together to figure out what is happening in Tucson and the reservation. Is Carlos part of these crimes, was he also abducted, or did he just leave Jade once he obtained the cash? Will Jade ever move on with her new love interest or does she still hold on to the feeling that her husband is alive and in danger somewhere?

C.J. Shane does a great job of introducing characters and later connecting them all to each other. I was invested in every chapter to find out how everyone’s lives intersected. I was immediately engaged with this story and had trouble putting this book down. It is a seamlessly written fast read, full of twists to the mystery. The romance between the different characters is a nice break in between the intense parts where CJ Shane writes about the criminal world of a Mexican cartel and a Taiwanese triad gangs. I was not expecting the ending at all and was very entertained with how unpredictable this story is. You will be surprised even up until the last chapter.

Along with being an entertaining mystery suspense, this novel is very informative about different cultures and social groups. C.J. Shane’s knowledge of undocumented immigrants, the Chinese triad gangs, the cartels, the people who live on the reservations, human traffickers, drug dealers, and gun smugglers all made this a very unique mystery novel. She also cleverly writes dialogue in Chinese and Spanish that add to the tone of the predicaments that the characters were in. I rate this book a 4 out of 4 stars. I would not recommend this book to those who are uncomfortable reading about sexual violence against women, post-traumatic stress disorder of war veterans, and murders. The book is very well written with no editing errors. I became a fan of C.J. Shane’s engaging writing style and would like to read her other novels.

Desert Jade
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Post by gen_g » 18 May 2018, 02:22

Thank you for the lovely review! This seems like a great book, and I would love to check it out soon. It is always great to hear that the story is well-paced, well-formatted and has no grammatical errors.

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Post by Laura Bach » 18 May 2018, 03:10

Not being able to put a book down is a lovely problem to have. I wish we all had that problem. This book is full of twists and interesting characters. Thank you for the review!

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Post by Ginnamassa19 » 18 May 2018, 03:48

I'm a big fan of mystery/thriller novels like this one, and this looks like something I'm going to have to add to my to-read list! I'm especially curious to see how the author pulls both Mexican cartels and Taiwanese triad gangs into the plot, since it's always interesting to see how different cultures are presented :) Thank you for your review, you've really intrigued me!

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Post by Libs_Books » 18 May 2018, 03:51

This sounds like a really great book. After reading your great review, I checked out the author online, and she sounds like a fascinating person - a bit of a polymath. I appreciate the warning about sexual violence, as the level of violence against women in books that are primarily entertainment bothers me. However, we know that people trafficking does often involve sexual violence and exploitation, so to me it seems appropriate not to ignore that dimension in a novel on that subject. I'm putting this on the 'Want to Read' list. Thanks.

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Post by SamSim » 18 May 2018, 09:25

Great review! While this book is not my kind of read, I appreciate the author's thoroughness. Some dialogue in characters' native languages and apparently detailed knowledge of the cultures and criminal activity give me the impression that Shane doesn't cut corners, and I appreciate that kind of dedication whether or not the work is one I would personally read.
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Post by sanjus » 18 May 2018, 10:16

Reading the review i got intrigued by suspense plot described and decided to completely read this book. Such books are usually captivating
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Post by teacherjh » 18 May 2018, 14:21

This sounds like a compelling mystery. I think the whole trafficking issue would be interesting to explore.
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Post by Kat Berg » 20 May 2018, 20:15

I love it when I am so engrossed I cannot put the book down! This sounds like a great summer read. Thanks for the review.

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Post by Stacy_Morgan » 21 May 2018, 08:27

Sounds interesting! I'm a bit on the fence about this one. How detailed is the sexual violence? Is it just mentioned, or are there colorful descriptions?

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