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Murder on Second Street: The Jackson Ward Murders (Sy Sanford Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
About the Author
- ASIN : B00E3XWN82
- Publisher : Rebekah L. Pierce; 2nd edition (July 22, 2013)
- Publication date : July 22, 2013
- Language : English
- File size : 1046 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 252 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,058,763 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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The Jackson Ward neighborhood served as a Mecca for African-American enterprise and financial success in the 1920's and the author's choice to depict this history as a background for this mustder mystery led to a riveting storyline. The first chapter quickly draws in the reader and visually takes you on a journey thru the mind of not only the killer but that of the reluctant and conflicted hero. I truly loved the humanizing way the author chose to give insight to the killer which almost made you understand his view instead of just hating him for his heinous behavior and cold yet calculating actions. For the first time, I almost read the novel backwards as I quickly went to the back to dive in to the ending quite early. I could easily visualize the scene as Sy Sanford comes face to face with the killer and that confrontation being the climatic conditions I anticipated.
I applaud the reference of historic detail like the name of the newspaper and several buildings, streets and locations from the neighborhood. It was like reading a mystery and history book in the same plot. Very entertaining and now I look forward to a visit of that historic Jackson Ward neighborhood one day soon! Love this novel...can't wait for the author to take me on her next journey!!!!!
Inspired by a series of murders in the Jackson Ward area during the 1920's, Murder on Second Street follows Sy Sanford's investigation into the murders. In many ways, the mystery plays second fiddle to the larger story being told by Rebekah L. Pierce. The real story is what's happening to Richmond as a whole, especially within the Jackson Ward area during the days leading up to the Great Depression. At the start of the book, we see how vibrant and alive the area is, but it's far from perfect. Discrimination plays a strong role in how the society is defined, and Rebekah doesn't flinch from showing a lot of the inequalities present. She doesn't limit that exploration to just how blacks perceive and treat whites and vice versa. Even within the Ward, there's a lot of financial inequality to be seen, which impacts Sy's investigation. He's hired by some of the wealthy businessmen and women in the Ward to find who's responsible for the recent killings of several young, black women. The concern of these business leaders is less for the safety of women in Jackson Ward and more for the potential impact to their businesses.
Sy stands out as an extremely well-developed and flawed hero who struggles with alcoholism and the post-traumatic stress from his experiences in World War I. He's also a very violent man who more than once crosses some lines he knows he shouldn't, and that can make it difficult to pull for him as a reader, but I never felt as if Rebekah wasn't being true to the type of man Sy really is. To make him nicer and less violent would have watered him down too much. Her honest approach to this flawed detective makes him a much more interesting character.
In the name of full disclosure, I'm a friend of Rebekah's and work with her as part of James River Writers. That added an interesting twist to this read for me. I went into this book knowing that a great deal of her writing background is in the theater. This shows in the way she works with a third-person omniscient voice, but it's also necessary for the story she tells. Murder on Second Street is less a mystery and much more a look at the Jackson Ward area's rise and inevitable decline at the time leading up to the Great Depression. Third-person omniscient doesn't lend itself well to a mystery, but Rebekah's decision to use that approach is very appropriate for this story about an entire neighborhood. Sy's murder investigation simply charts the course of the reader's journey. As for the murder mystery, the reader learns very early in the book who the killer is and the things that motivate him, and even that part of the book just reveals more about the people of Jackson Ward.
Murder on Second Street: The Jackson Ward Murders is a very riveting story that takes place in the late 1920's, and spins a tale about someone killing young working class Negro women in and around the affluent African American section of Richmond, called Jackson Ward. The story pulled me in from the very beginning; the first chapter alone had me sitting on the edge of my chair. I was spellbound by the descriptions of the different characters in the book. Ms. Pierce weaves such a rich tale around them, you can almost close your eyes, and be walking right alongside them.
Even though I figured out the "whodunit" early on, the book kept me engaged enough to want to see how they figured the murders out, and more importantly, what they were going to do about it. The ending practically had me cheering; I had to cover my mouth, as it was a bit too late in the evening for me to be shouting.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a good murder mystery, and a bit of history as well. I love it when I not only read a great book, but learn a bit in the process. I'm looking forward to reading Ms. Pierce's next book; she's gained a new fan here!