Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Murder on the Down Low

While murder is definitely not on my Bucket List, I must tell you about this book.

What would happen if married men committed adultery with other men, and someone killed them off one by one? You'd have Murder on the Down Low by Pamela Samuels-Young. It's her third murder mystery with protagonist Vernetta Henderson, attorney-at-law, but you don't have to read the first two to follow this story.

Vernetta and her friends Nichelle Ayers, J.C. Sparks and Special Moore have all lost their friend Maya to AIDS given to her by her down low fiance, Eugene. Vernetta and Nichelle, also an attorney, want to make Eugene pay for his transgression through legal avenues. J.C., a homicide detective, seconds that motion, but Special Moore wants vengeance by any means necessary. "We should just kill his ass ourselves," is her sentiment. The one good thing I can say about Special is she is true to herself, and has the courage of her convictions. It is her blind rage that fuels the engine that drives this action-packed thriller forward.

The setting is Los Angeles, but no, the murders are not drive-bys. All of the victims are members of the Black elite who are consummate professionals, but also closet bisexuals, or just plain "freaky" as they like to think of themselves. As a native Angeleno, kudos to the author for her accurate protrayal of all the local L.A. haunts, which I've frequented myself.

Not to give too much of the plot away, the journey of twists and turns creates circumstantial evidence that points to many culprits for the murders, and one surprise suspect, but the larger theme is that of tolerance. If society were more tolerant of alternative lifestyles, we wouldn't have the issues associated with being on the down low because, well, there would be no down low. That's where I think it gets a little preachy. The author's take on AIDS awareness, though, is right on target.

All in all, I loved the book. It's a thrilling ride and a riveting read. If you want to find out who's on the down low and who's doing the killing, click on this link and pick up Murder on the Down Low.

1 comment:

Helvi said...

Hi, that was a nice message you left on my blog. Have a wonderful day.