This was the first CJ Floyd mystery I’ve read, and CJ himself appears only for the last few pages, although his shadow looms large throughout the book. The main plot line concerns the assassinations of the number one draft pick in the NBA, a Pulitzer winning journalist- and shortly thereafter, the draft pick’s father. Numerous people close to the deceased conduct investigations, including his best friend and college teammate, Damion Madrid.
Let me start with the good points- this book kept my interest through out, and I did wonder what the resolution would be throughout. Some of the characters were pretty interesting and the dialogue was decent throughout. Greer does a nice job of painting a portrait of the black neighborhoods and people of Denver
But for the good aspects of this book, there were also many disappointments. The plot gets a little needlessly complicated at points, likely to send the reader off the trail of who the murderer might be, but it winds up becoming a little distracting and unbelievable. There’s an awful lot of poking around by amateurs- yet they always seem to get answers from folks who are in way too deep, with very few of them telling the would-be gumshoes “talk to my lawyer” or “I don’t have to answer you”. The character of Flora Jean Benson is well-developed (ahem), but I couldn’t help but visualize Jackie Brown-era Pam Grier throughout- perhaps that’s what author Robert Greer had in mind, but I found it a little distracting. And as much as I tried to suspend my disbelief, as an NCAA basketball fan, I had a hard time not chuckling when they mentioned Colorado State in the NCAA finals.
In all, a mixed-bag, one I would recommend only to true fans of this genre. I do plan on seeking out a CJ Floyd book that actually includes CJ Floyd to see if that would make a difference in the end result.