Mystery, intrigue, and confusion arise from the opening chapters as Dylan first questions his mother’s source of income before turning to the mystery of his own identity and how he became a wanted man. Readers are thrust into a rough Central New York as Obele provides a vivid description of Utica’s crumbling infrastructure and spiraling economy. The city’s seedy past and dismal present provides an appropriate backdrop for many dark themes, such as racism and organized crime. A chapter depicting torture and sexual assault in the first part of the story may give some readers pause, but Dylan’s resilience and plan for revenge quickly changes the tone, while propelling the story forward.
Obele has crafted an enticing tale that will keep readers guessing until the end. Dylan blurs the line between protagonist and antagonist as he lies, cheats, and kills in search of the truth. His involvement with white supremacist organizations and other criminal elements risk making his character unlikeable, but his redeeming qualities and the urgency of his story are enough to keep readers engaged in this high-stakes, unpredictable crime thriller.
Takeaway: Fans of gritty, organized crime thrillers will appreciate this story’s layers of mystery and intrigue.
Great for fans of: Dennis Lehane, Ashley & JaQuavis’s The Cartel Series
Design and typography: B
Marketing copy: A