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Reviewed by Vernita Naylor for Readers' Favorite
Lost and Found is a compelling crime novel written by Ronald L. Ruiz. Abel Mendoza is looking for a new life as a lawyer. He felt that he could make a good living, but he also wanted to make a difference in the Mexican/Chicano community. He firmly believed that the Mexican/Chicano community would rally around him and seek his services immediately. Why wouldn't they - he was of the same culture and represented them - but little did he know he would have to work extremely hard to earn their trust. As Mendoza began to embark on this journey, he learned a lot about himself, the justice system, and the community that he thought he knew. Things took a turn for the surreal when he was asked to defend 17-year-old Jaime Valenzuela. How would he proceed with his first murder case? What if he failed? How would that impact the community that he wanted and needed to serve?
Suspenseful. Intriguing. Genius. Words of epic proportion are how I would describe Lost and Found. Ronald L. Ruiz carefully balanced the elements of culture, stereotypes, history, and storytelling in the development of this book. Playing out like a blockbuster movie, each scene held my attention as Abel navigated his life in connection with others and learned more and more about himself and his own biases. As the story evolved, the image and personality of each character within the book shone through, showing us that we still have a long way to go with discrimination, racism, sexism, and how black and brown people are being treated and seen. Or should I say not seen? Throughout this story, Ronald presented so many parallels and nuances of poor neighborhoods, street life, perspectives, and a paradigm shift of change with an impact so powerful that it makes you pause and reflect on what you've just read. I was in awe to discover the voice of transparency and rawness as seen through the author's eyes. Lost and Found is strongly recommended if you're looking for an outstanding level of passion, decisions, consequences, and risks. Enjoy!