Friday, May 11, 2012

Illegal by Paul Levine - Pick of the Month Review

book cover art for Illegal by Paul LevineIllegal
by Paul Levine
Genres: Mystery, Thriller

     Agustino, Tino to his friends, and his mother, Marisol, are running for their lives. They cross the Mexican border and enter America as illegal aliens. But things just go from bad to worse. The mother and son get separated during the crossing. The mother is a beautiful woman, who has been sexually harassed her entire life, and becomes the target of more unwanted advances.

     I worked in construction and learned real quick to lose the makeup, pull my hair back into an unflattering ponytail, and not to wear tight or revealing clothes. It's fairly easy to go unnoticed when I want to. Granted it isn't right that women need to fear harassment, but it is a survival mechanism to learn ways to avoid it. Marisol is a smart, tough woman who can take care of herself and I find it a little unrealistic that she hadn't learned the art of blending in.

     Tino is a brave boy who enlists the help of a washed up lawyer. Jimmy Payne is a broken man, haunted by a traumatic experience, and a divorce, that he blames himself for. An unlikely pair, but against all odds they manage to track down Marisol's last known location.

     There were some editing issues. Who groaned? There are many instances where the subject of the sentence is implied rather than stated, which I found distracting and annoying.

     Illegal is more than just a story about illegal aliens. It is a story about those who wield the power over the powerless, and what can happen when people stand up and fight back. It is about a powerful man, who can use his power to either be your best friend or the type of enemy that nightmares are based on, depending on who you are or what you can do for him. Also how power can go to a man's head until he believes he is all powerful and above the law. Wonderful plot, very suspenseful, and incredibly hard to put down.

     There is much controversy in America today about illegals. Many argue that they take jobs from Americans. This book makes the argument that illegals work in the fields. They work in slaughterhouses. They work as domestics. They fill many positions that most Americans feel are beneath them. People argue that illegals don't pay taxes. In reality they do, taxes are taken out of their paychecks, and they can't file taxes to claim their tax returns. I don't want to start a great political debate about whether illegals should be rounded up or left alone. I'm not entirely sure where I stand on the topic. I do know that when my ancestors came to America, they learned the language, learned some history - more history than the kids today learn in public school, took a test, and were sworn in. There was no red tape, legal issues, or high processing fees. Things have become way too complicated today. Personally, I'm not sure why foreigners still flock here, most of the corporations have moved to their countries and taken the jobs with them.

I give it 4 star review graphic 4 stars!

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