Their foster mother, Carol, has always been fanatical, but with Jazz grown up and out of the house, Carol takes a dangerous turn that threatens thirteen-year-old Joaquin’s life. Over and over, child services fails to intervene, and Joaquin is running out of time. Then Jazz gets a blocked call from someone offering a solution.
Heard offers an exhilarating plot of quid pro quo. Biracial Jazz is a scrappy boxer, loyal to friends and family, who only wants to offer her smart younger brother a chance to make it in life. This dark suspense is a fine addition to LGBTQ and multicultural collections.
... uneven ... The loving relationship between Jazz and book-smart Joaquin adds realism, as does the background of their connection. The clever finale makes up in part for an unbelievable villain and an unwieldy center that substitutes violence for real storytelling. Fans of Stranger on the Train scenarios will find much to like.