Arama’s taut narrative brims with tension and indelible characters. (. . .) A remarkable cast sparks this incisive, riveting tale of intolerance.
— Kirkus Reviews
With an empathetic hand, Roxana Arama brings characters to life by weaving the alarming injustice of the immigrant struggle into a gritty, page-turning plot. A bold, thrilling story.
— Karen Hugg, author of The Forgetting Flower and The Dark Petals of Provence
A genuinely gripping read. Roxana Arama has written a dynamic thriller that balances gritty realism with a keen sensitivity to the experiences of displacement, acculturation, and the human need for connection and belonging.
— Elizabeth Liang, award-winning creator of Alien Citizen: An Earth Odyssey
Fast-paced and chilling from the moment you crack open the cover, you won’t be able to put Extreme Vetting down. Roxana Arama’s deep knowledge of the immigration system and all its complexities gives this thriller a unique and timely presence in the genre.
— Suzy Vitello, author of Faultland
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.
— Theresa Kadair, Seattle Book Review
Extreme Vetting is an excellent legal thriller with a pace that is sure to make readers never want to put the book down until the last page is turned. (. . .) Extreme Vetting has proven to be an excellent debut for Roxana Arama, and it will be exciting to see where her literary career goes next.
— Michael Costanzo, founder of City on the Moon
Roxana, you have written a thriller that cuts very close to the truth for me. Living in the border state of Arizona, we hear nightmare stories all the time, and I want to thank you for bringing this issue to life in a very reader-friendly novel.
— Linda Thompson, host of The Authors Show
I’m not a frequent reader of thrillers, but I couldn’t turn away from this one. (. . .) It’s as well-versed in the intricacies of the legal system as it is in the tropes of suspense fiction, and it’s a perfect snapshot of our city when it’s snowbound.
— James Crossley, owner of Madison Books, 2022 finalist for Publishers Weekly’s Bookstore of the Year Award
A riveting thriller of suspense, politics, and one of the major social issues of our day, "Extreme Vetting" by author Roxana Arama is all the more impressive when considering that it is her debut as a novelist. "Extreme Vetting" is a deftly crafted novel that is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Fiction collections. (…) [T]he stuff of which movies are made!
—Midwest Book Review
“A humane, suspenseful thriller about immigration law and its fallout. (…) [A] legal thriller that lovers of humane suspense will enjoy for its fast pace, crusading hero, and character-driven storyline that doesn’t skimp on tension or seedy, duplicitous characters. (…) [A] harrowing but empathetic story that captures the struggles and horrors faced by the undocumented and their families as they strive for a better and safe life in America. Arama captures a complex real-life bind in the language of a commercial thriller: how shedding and fleeing a dangerous past can lead to fighting unbending and unfeeling laws.”
—Editor’s Pick, BookLife by Publishers Weekly
"What am I reading? I’m glad you asked! My good friend and fellow Seattlite @roxanaarama.author recently released her debut novel Extreme Vetting, and it is amazing! I don’t usually read a lot of thrillers, but I wanted to read Roxana’s because I’d heard so much about it while she was writing it, and I’m so glad I did. EV has rich characters and all the suspense, but Roxana did a really deep dive into the US immigration system when she was doing her research, and it shows. I learned so much! Brava!"
—Julia Quinn, author of the Bridgerton series
An immigration lawyer and her latest client both face injustice and a host of menaces in Arama’s debut thriller.
Seattle-based attorney Laura Holban reluctantly takes on a new case despite her hefty workload. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers have just arrested undocumented Guatemalan immigrant Emilio Ramirez, who has lived in Washington state with a happy family and a steady job for more than two decades. But he’s now up against Seattle’s chief ICE prosecutor, Mason Waltman, who seems determined to eject him from the country. Laura’s burden is to prove that her client shouldn’t be deported, a task that is complicated by a false assault claim leveled at Emilio. Someone appears to really want Emilio back in Guatemala; his family’s home is broken into, and Laura is physically intimidated in an effort to get her to drop the case. Suddenly, questions arise about the validity of Laura’s own green card, which she received when she immigrated to the United States from Romania 18 years earlier. Laura worries that Emilio will be killed if he returns to his native country, a sad fate that’s befallen other clients of hers—but the greatest danger for her, Emilio, and his family may be much closer to home. Arama’s taut narrative brims with tension and indelible characters. The author is sensitive to discrimination (“When a native speaker makes a mistake, it’s because they’re tired or distracted. When an immigrant makes the same mistake, it’s because they’re dumb”) and microaggressions: Several people make note of Laura’s accent, as if she’s a tourist in the country she’s made her home. The story derives suspense from unpredictable threats courtesy of ICE, crooked lawyers, and the mysterious figure targeting Emilio. Most of Laura’s fight takes place outside the courtroom, where only a few scenes are set. Violence crops up in the final act, though it’s nominal, and the ending packs a mean dramatic punch.
A remarkable cast sparks this incisive, riveting tale of intolerance.