Thursday, June 30, 2016

Forgiving Mariela Camacho

Forgiving Mariela Camacho
A Kurchenko and Gonzalvez Mystery
A. J. Sidransky
Berwick Court Publishing Company
Chicago, Illinois
ISBN: 978-0-990 9515-6-8
Trade Paperback
$ 16.99
339 pages

During WWII, many Jewish people living in Europe searched for someplace safe.   For 854 of these people, salvation came when they were accepted by the Dominican Republic to begin a new life in Central America, called the Dominican Haven.   These people became part of the culture, learning the language and customs while adopting the way of living of citizens of this country, true integration.   Eventually, many of the descendants moved to the U.S. but still stayed a little attached to the combined customs of the Jews and the Dominicans.  Many of these people now live in New York becoming part of the various ethnic groups settling in this metropolis.
New York City police detectives Anatoly Kurchenko and Pete Gonzalez respond to a wealthy apartment complex by the management due to an overwhelming odor surrounding it.  All the doors and windows are locked and secured from the inside with the appearance of suicide.  However, the deceased woman is seated in a wooden cross with a knife dangling from her cut throat. 
Anatoly Kurchenko, who goes by the name Tolya, is married to Karin, who is expecting their third child.  Karin is working on a special exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage about these descendants and their history.  Karin uses her analytical and research skills as an investigator and speaking Spanish to create this event about these chosen people who were offered a new life in the Dominican Republic.
For Pete, this is personal.  The dead woman is Mariela Camacho, his first love from the Dominican Republic.  Strangely, Mariella is in possession of other passports with other identities.  Why?  What work did she do?  Where and how did she earn the money to live in this expensive apartment and the extravagant lifestyle with designer clothes?
Forgiving Mariela Camacho is the second book by A.J. Sidransky featuring Kurchenko and Gonzalez and telling the tale of these Jewish families relocated to the Dominican Republic following the first book, Forgiving Maximo Rothman.  Both books are marvelous sources of a rich history that are seldom mentioned and demonstrates a true tale of immigration.    Even though Forgiving Mariela Camacho can easily be understood with having read the first novel, personally I recommend reading Forgiving Maximo Rothman due to the rich historical background and the character development continued from this book.
A.J. Sidransky beautifully creates characters that are realistic while efficiently working in the world with a history that haunts each person showing that each carries some personal baggage.   This unique quality allows you to know and empathizes with every choice and decision as the story progresses.
Both of these books are an example of the masterful storytelling skills by Sidransky weaving history into a present day mystery.  The novel is fast-paced, insightful, and enriching in history and personal relationships.  
Who would enjoy this story?  Everyone who is searching for that particular book that would delight any reader with an appreciation for an unpredictable tale keeping you totally engaged beyond the last page.
Forgiving Mariela Camacho and Forgiving Maximo Rothman are must reads for everyone.  

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