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Harlem Redux Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of Harlem Redux

David McKay, a handsome civil rights attorney, tries to uncover the truth behind his sister's death. Set during the glittering Harlem Renaissance, HARLEM REDUX, is a sophisticated thriller that also explores race and class issues within 1920s' New York.
This report prepared by Persia Walker



A son returns and finds his beloved sister dead of an apparent suicide. But things are not what they appear to be and David McKay risks his own future to get to the truth.
This report prepared by Marguerite Brand





Simon & Schuster, Jun 2002, 23.00, 309 pp.
ISBN: 0743224973

After serving in France during World War I, David McKay attends Howard Law School. Following graduation, David becomes a civil-rights attorney. His efforts mostly occur in the South, gaining David a reputation and many enemies. David avoids lynching by going underground. While he works in hiding, one of his sisters, Lilian commits suicide.

When David finally learns that his sibling is dead, he resurfaces in Harlem to find out what happened. He quickly realizes that life moved on while he toiled around saving the world. Feeling guilty, David makes inquiries into Lilian's life after he became a big shot attorney. He finds out that Lilian married attorney Jameson Sweet, who inherited most of the relatively large estate. David meets former lover Rachel, who informs him that she gave birth to his child after he went underground. His little girl, whom he had never seen, died from an illness. Rachel and David marry, but soon the police suspect him of killing Sweet with his motive vengeance. Now he must prove his innocence.

HARLEM REDUX is a powerful historical fiction focusing on the life of African-Americans in the 1920s. The mysteries take a sidebar to the vivid descriptions of the era through the price of active involvement in a good cause on one's personal life. David is a wonderful lead character and the insightful look at mid-twenties Harlem Renaissance is a delight. Though the Sweet homicide subplot adds little to the tale except an unnecessary coda, sub-genre fans have quite a treat and hopefully Persia Walker will furbish a sequel starring David and cronies living during the Depression.

Harriet Klausner
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner








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Chapter Analysis of Harlem Redux

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 50%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 26.7%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 13.3% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   60% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   minority/women/homosexual issues Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   a lawyer creature Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   Black

Setting

United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York

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Persia Walker Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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