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.
After thoroughly enjoying the first novel in the series, I decided to return to LoCicero’s Detroit for another gritty story. Set in 1993, the story opens with the shooting of a young girl who was delivering the daily newspaper. Plagued by the news, John Giordano begins to see just how bad things have become, particularly for his eighth-grade students. Children dying, his own students working the corner selling crack and heroin, others barely making ends meet as they turn to whatever will make them a quick buck. Even popular Channel 5 news anchor, Frank DeFauw, can do little but talk about the issue and present documentaries. After being pinkslipped by his school, Giordano decides that something must be done and concocts a plan to bring about significant change. He wants to rid the city of at least one major illegal drug importer, Steven ‘The Bank’ Monelli. Kidnapping someone within the Monelli family, Giordano seeks to have the drug trade stop for good and Monelli pay a price for all the horror he has caused. However, while it may seem heroic, Giordano does not realize the reach this man has or the lengths to which he will go to wipeout anyone seeking to sully the Monelli name. It’s a race to the finish, pitting brains against brawn, with a feisty news anchor in the middle to report on it all. Another powerful novel that tells the story in a raw and honest fashion. LoCicero pulls the reader into the middle of the struggles many have only seen during news clips, refusing to dial down the way of life that was (and likely is) inner-city Detroit. Perfect for those wishing to read a fast-paced crime thriller that will surely leave the reader well out of their comfort zone.
I have never lived in the inner-city, nor have I been exposed to some of the horrors that LoCicero depicts in this story. I was able to live comfortable and see these sorts of stories stream over the news, as one of the American stations on our television used a Detroit affiliate. LoCicero has chosen his characters well to depict not only the abject poverty seen within the city, but also the lengths to which some people will go to earn their keep. From mob bosses to journalists, teachers with rose-coloured glasses to overworked social workers, LoCicero depicts them all and shows how things intertwine to create a wonderful story as well as a narrative that is full of depth and despair. The story itself may not be unique, but the depiction of one man, John Giordano, doing whatever it takes to bring about change to a city he has seen crumbling around him, speaks volumes. While it is not entirely possible to know for sure what LoCicero is attempting to do here, it is fairly apparent that there is a call to arms seeking to highlight what is going on and how it needs fixing. I would venture to say that Detroit could be replaced with many other mid-sized cities across North America, all with the same social, economic, and political issues. The end result is all the same; ignore the problem and it will not go away, but get worse. Rigged elections and politicians who do not give a ‘tweet’ about anything but themselves aside, there are many issues within the confines of the city limits that are not being addressed and this ‘cancer’ is only spreading. LoCicero pulls no punches, but it is up to the reader to take the message to heart, and run with it.
Kudos, Mr. LoCicero for another enjoyable piece. I could not put this book down and I am excited to rush into the final book in the series, where I may get another look into the social issues that plague the inner-city.