Ana Rocha: Shadows Of Justice

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By Ammar Habib & Glenda Mendoza

Ammar Habib Photo


Ana Rocha is a Houston narcotics undercover officer. She’s wanted this job for a long time, because years before, her sister died at the hands of drive by drug dealers. She’s on the job to capture dealers. The longer she does her job, the more dangerous it becomes. Yet lurking out there is the answer to who was behind her sister’s death. When she discovers connections, will she be able to survive the experience?

For the most part, the plot is fine. The issue I had was I knew that she was looking for answers to her sister’s death. That’s a given. But I would have liked more of that story and her finding those clues or evidence to be sprinkled throughout. Rather, it went along with her doing her job and it’s not until later that any connection is made. The mystery would have been better if spread out more.


Ana Rocha: 22, Latino, Undercover officer in narcotics, sister dead, has brother, black hair.

Captain Scott: Ana’s boss

Bryan Fulton: Ana’s partner, tall, 30s, married w/son

Victor M. Nelson: 40, part of a criminal organization, 6’0, 230 lbs, bald, scar on right cheek, russet eyes

Several characters but this story lacked deep relationships. Yes, Ana has issues with her family and that’s fine. She develops a friendship and working relationship with her partner and that’s fine. But we really don’t see her with other officers too much or her boss or friends. There was a bit of scratching below the surface for her and Bryan, but not much else.


Fine. One of two places where tag lines are really action words and not verbal tags. Some distinct voices.


Titled chapters. A few instances of profanity. Present tense from Ana’s POV

One of the problems with present tense is the ‘to be’ word ‘is’ and has. A lot of times it gets paired with ‘ing’ words which become old and passive and lengthen time. Many times the verb, the action word could have been used with an ‘s’ to denote present tense. For example (and this is not specifically in the story but only as an example): My hand is hurting. As opposed to My hand hurts. The second is better.

A few misspelled words. The baddie’s name is Thorne in most places but Throne in one.

I’m not sure about the way this was set up. There was no background on Ana and her police career. I didn’t see anything mentioned, but the way this was written it sounded as if Ana applied to a job with Narcotics and joined right up. I didn’t hear about any training or her on patrol before she advanced into the narcotics division. This is missing. I mention this because some of the things she did at the beginning on her first few outings may not have happened because she would have learned not to do those things from patrol and being on the streets. Maybe I missed something, but I didn’t see previous cop experience.

The major problem with the writing were the ‘ly’ adverbs. Used, abused, overused, and repeated to the point of frustration, especially in action scenes. Violently, Forcefully, Powerfully, Commandingly (which I’m not sure is an actual word), Slightly, Lightly, Instinctively, Quickly.

I cringed and winced in agony when I saw the repetition of three or four within the same action scene. And some of the adverbs just didn’t work or fit at the time. The scene and the action need to describe themselves. The ‘ly’ words just detract and show weak writing.

The climax, while action-packed (with a plethora of the aforementioned adverbs), was disappointing in that I expected more from the baddie. It was a major letdown, for me, after seeing everything beforehand.

Because of the issues I had with this book, I have to go with the rank of:

Yellow Belt