Stone Cribs Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Stone Cribs

St. Martin's, Feb 2004, 24.95, 320 pp.
ISBN: 0312287844

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.
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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

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Stone Cribs

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Plot & Themes

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?    -   70% Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   minority/women/gay rights Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   private investigator Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   Black


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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