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Like his dog, Killer--a spirited mutt who's missing his two hind legs--Socrates has to contend with a number of severe handicaps. Forget the fact that he's a black man in a white society. He's also the fall guy for every crime committed in the vicinity, a scapegoat of near-biblical proportions:
The police always came. They came when a grocery store was robbed or a child was mugged. They came for every dead body with questions and insinuations. Sometimes they took him off to jail. They had searched his house and given him a ticket for not having a license for his two-legged dog. They dropped by on a whim at times just in case he had done something that even they couldn't suspect.Yet Socrates is no poster child for racial victimization. Why? Because Mosley never soft-pedals the fact that he is, or was, a murderer. "He was a bad man," we are assured at one point. "He had done awful things." Deprived of any sort of sentimental pulpit, Socrates makes his moral determinations on the fly. Should he admit that he killed a mugger in self-defense? Can he force his adopted son Darryl to stay in school? Should he murder a corrupt cop who's terrorized his entire neighborhood? His answers are consistently surprising, and that fact--combined with the author's shrewd, no-nonsense prose--should make every reader long for Mosley's next excursion into the Socratic method. --James Marcus --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"You ever see one's a them big mural paintin's that they put up on the wall? The kind's about a whole big place with lots and lotsa people? Read morePublished 13 months ago by Steve P
A superb and comfortably understated - but vibrant - tale. Just what fans expect from this very fine "author's author. Read morePublished 16 months ago by C. L. Richardson
Socrates Fortlow could well be defined as an anti-hero, and this book is powerful, sobering and brilliant. I recommend reading and then make a friend read it. Read morePublished on November 1, 2013 by JET Jack
I've read many of his books and loved them all. As an elderly white woman, this is a world I will never know, and it's like visiting a foreign country and learning its customs and... Read morePublished on August 2, 2013 by D. Waltman
great book, second in a series...a brooding, deep main character with range and substance. The author is gifted beyond measure.Published on June 13, 2013 by Sheridan Jackson