The Car Bomb (Detroit Im Dyin Trilogy #1), T.V. LoCicero

Seven stars

First and foremost, thank you to T. V. LoCicero for providing me with a copy of this book, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Returning to my independent author list, I found this piece. Having never read any LoCicero, I thought I would entertain his request to see how it worked for me. Set in 1992 Detroit, I was never sure what to expect, though the title and the cover image (a car engulfed in flames) left me wondering if this would be a gang-based thriller on the rough inner-city streets. How I have learned not to judge a book by its cover! In a quiet neighbourhood, a woman loads her children into the family car. When she turns the key in the ignition, it explodes and kills them all. ‘Face of the Channel 5 News’ Frank DeFauw learns of the incident and rushes to make some sense of it. DeFauw, a philandering man with deep celebrity roots in the community, has a way to extract information out of people and delivers it with aplomb to his watching public. Trying to piece everything together, DeFauw learns that Anthony Peoples was not on scene when his family perished and considers that this might be retribution for a drug-deal gone wrong. However, scouring the streets and making on-air pleas, DeFauw reaches out to Peoples and hopes that they can talk. Peoples spills the beans on a large bribery scandal that got him off charges of murder, but which also involves some of the high-ranking officials in Detroit’s judicial community. DeFauw tries to piece it all together while fighting the demons of his personal struggles and a wife who wants a divorce as he refuses to be faithful. However, gritty journalistic determination rushes through DeFauw’s veins and he will stop at nothing to air the truth, even if it costs him everything. A great story that LoCicero has created, the first in a trilogy of novels. A decent read for those who enjoy a little throwback when reading crime stories, peppered with some less than savoury backstories.

As I have said before, independent author reads tend to be hit and miss for me. Going into this one, I was not sure how it might play out, but LoCicero presented a strong story and peppered it with just the right amount of salacious activity by our protagonist on the gritty streets of Detroit. The characters are a wonderful collection of varied individuals, their characteristics bringing the story to life. LoCicero knows precisely how to pull the reader in while exuding some dislike towards some of the antics taken. While the story was not overly complex, it was enjoyable and flowed well, with short chapters and a few cliffhangers. The length of time it took me to complete the read should not be indicative of my enjoyment of the entire process. Life tosses up roadblocks at times, though when I was able to pick up the book, I flew through section with ease. LoCicero is not new to the writing game and it shows in this well-developed piece, which has me wondering about the second novel. Could DeFauw be back for more fun and games, or has he hung up his glitz to make room for a new and exciting journalist in town? Only time will tell.

Kudos, Mr. LoCicero for this enjoyable piece. I enjoyed how you brought the story and Detroit to life. I am happy that you reached out and asked me to review this book. Has me curious about more relating to Detroit.