January 21, 2015

Review: The Dead of December by Ryan Bowman

Product Description:
Growing up in the suffocating grip of Detroit's most crime-ridden neighborhood, Sugar Sinclair has always aspired to defy the odds and make something of his life. But on a bitter December night, he finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and his hopes for the future are extinguished in the blink of an eye. 

Meanwhile, Gerald Dawes is a weary beat cop weighed down by the disappearance of his son and a crumbling marriage. When a monotonous night shift turns catastrophic and his partner is killed in the line of duty, Gerald reaches an emotional breaking point. Desperate for vengeance, he wrongfully arrests affluent real estate agent Clarence Sanford, whose true crime is one he hopes to keep from his family. 

As Sugar, Gerald and Clarence wage war against their inner demons, their lives become increasingly intertwined, the fateful intersection of their paths increasingly imminent. 
Will truth and justice prevail? Or will the streets of Detroit swallow three more souls? 

My Thoughts:
I think this is the first time I've ever felt like I was reading in slow motion. I could clearly see where everything was leading and I was in tense suspense hoping it wouldn't play out the way I expected. Clearly from the book description things did go wrong and the fall out afterwards leads to gut wrenching decisions that need to be made by all three characters. 

Young Sugar has to make a life decision that has already affected his family and so many in his neighborhood. Clarence is faced with making a confession that will implode his so-called perfect family. Gerald is torn between the politics of the police force and his inner turmoil. They each have nothing but that night weighing heavily on them and have to come to terms with doing the right thing versus doing the easy thing. 

The only reason I didn't give the book a full five star rating was the way the disappearance of Gerald's son was told. I felt like it was only thrown in to explain Gerald's struggles with alcohol. There was no "meat on the bone" in that part of the story and it didn't hold up to the rest of the storyline. Otherwise this was an incredible book that is going on my Top Five list for this year and even though it's only January, I'm confident it will remain there all year.

My Recommendation:
This is the perfect read for anyone who loves crime fiction and page-turning suspense.