October 21st, 2019 by diane92345

It was the eighties and everything was about making money. Reaganomics gave the promise that everyone could be rich with some smarts and initiative. So what were poor African-Americans using as their method to achieve this American Dream? Crack.

With a 40% unemployment rate for African-American teenagers in 1984, there weren’t any other ways to get rich quick in the poor neighborhoods where most lived. There was definitely no shortage of buyers. However, once the gangs moved in and took over crack sales, the homicide rate of those same teenage boys skyrocketed. The only way to expand their market was by taking over some other gang’s territory—usually involving extensive bloodshed on both gangs’ part.

Interesting and important information about both the Crack epidemic and the cocaine one that preceded it. However, it is very “academically” presented. While that makes sense considering the publisher, just be aware that this is an incredibly well-researched study and not a pop-culture type book. 3.5 stars!

Thanks to Cambridge University Press and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in New Books, Non-fiction Tagged with:

This Little Dark Place
October 11th, 2019 by diane92345

A mystery that meanders around with the pacing of a slice-of-life play (think Fences). I promise there is a crime involved eventually but it will take plenty of pages to get to it in This Little Dark Place.

Daniel and Victoria are trying to have a baby. It is not going well. Victoria throws herself into exercise. Daniel joins a prison pen pal program, where he meets an attempted murderer named Ruby. From there, their life starts spiraling downward.

I really disliked the pacing of This Little Dark Place. However, the plot and the characters forced me to keep reading to find out what was going to happen. We know something does because the book is a letter from Daniel to someone named Lucy. He is attempting to explain what happened. The biggest mystery is who is Lucy. Most of the other twists are pretty broadly foreshadowed. Overall, a compelling read that I still feel only deserves 3 stars from me.

Thanks to Serpent’s Tail and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: ,