Independent Press Award
Extreme Vetting: A Thriller
An immigration lawyer fights to keep her client from being deported to the country where his family was murdered many years ago. Then she finds out the killers are coming here—for both of them. Seattle, Washington, 2019. Immigration attorney and single mom Laura Holban is an immigrant herself. Her newest undocumented client is Emilio Ramirez, who was arrested in front of his sons at their high school and scheduled for deportation. What Laura doesn't know is that Emilio's birth family was murdered in his home country many years ago. When Laura files for Emilio's asylum, false criminal charges prevent his release. Someone is following his family, and an ICE prosecutor threatens to revoke Laura's US citizenship. None of it makes any sense—until Laura uncovers an international conspiracy involving stolen data and human trafficking. Which puts her teenage daughter and Emilio's sons in mortal danger. Now the killers from the past come looking for the man who got away and the lawyer who's helping him. Can Laura and Emilio find a way to survive—and keep their children safe? If not, who will make it out alive?