|Plot Summary of Stone Cribs|
St. Martin's, Feb 2004, 24.95, 320 pp.
Christmas 1969 in Chicago, African-American private eye Smokey Dalton and preadolescent Jimmy, who can identify the killer of Martin Luther King Jr., continue to hide under aliases from those who want the lad dead. They pose as father and son Bill and Jimmy Grimshaw respectively. While Jimmy stays with some friends, Bill goes out with his wealthy white girlfriend Laura Hathaway.
When Bill and Laura return to his apartment, they hear moans from the neighbor's place. They investigate to find a rape victim Val in critical condition because of a botched alleyway abortion. Her former spouse seeks vengeance, but is killed instead by a teen gang. Bill takes up the mantle seeking a deadly abortionist and a killer on the meanest streets of the Windy City.
This is great urban noir that stars powerful characters, especially the series regulars, as Smokey continues to smoke the competition as a window to the wild social unrest of the late 1960s especially in the black communities. However, the tale is more historical as readers are grimly reminded of the pre Roe vs. Wade era especially in Black America of hanger medical care and Planned Parenthood via sterilization woven inside the superb who-done-it. Also being released at the same time is the trade paperback version THIN WALLS, a great Smokey Dalton entry.
Harriet Klausner, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of Stone Cribs|
Our unique search engine provides a wealth of detail about books by breaking them down into many different literary elements, all of which are searchable (click here).
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
descript. of violence and chases - 10%
Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 40%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 30%
How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) - 20%
Tone of story
- suspenseful (sophisticated fear)
How difficult to spot villain?
- Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues
Time/era of story:
- 2000+ (Present)
What % of story relates directly
to the mystery, not the subplot?
Kid or adult book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Any non-mystery subplot?
- minority/women/homosexual issues
Murder Mystery (killer unknown)
- private investigator
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Amount of dialog
- significantly more dialog than descript
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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