Too Beautiful to Die Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Too Beautiful to Die

Blades Overstreet, a black ex-NYPD cop obligates himself to a gorgeous soap star, appropriately named Precious, as a favor to Jimmy Lucas, the man who had saved his life. Precious wants to know the identity of her father and someone is willing to tell her who he is for $50,000, so Blades offers his protective services to assist her with this transaction. When they both find their contact, who unbeknownst to them is an ex-FBI agent, dead in his apartment, Blades realizes that this small favor has turned into one huge mess. And if things couldn't get worse for Blades, Precious is found dead in his apartment. How will Blades clear his name? Who killed Precious and why? Most importantly, who was Precious father?
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The review of this Book prepared by dee stewart

Putnam, Jul 2003, 23.95, 304 pp.
ISBN: 039915048X

Three years may have passed, but African-American Blades Overstreet remains bitter over the incident that nearly cost him his life and ultimately did cost him his wife. During a bust, an undercover white cop “accidentally” shot police officer Blades, who felt it was a deliberate effort to eliminate a black cop. The brass told him to shut up so he quit and sued. The acrimonious aftertaste and avenging obsession over the subsequent two years led to his wife Anais leaving him to go to California.

Jimmy Lucas once saved Blades' life so he now asks a big favor of Blades. Jimmy wants Blades to help his "Precious" find her long lost father. Warning Jimmy that the debt is now paid, Blades begins making inquiries only he finds a murdered FBI agent during his investigation. Already detested by the NYPD brass and most of its rank and file for failing to live up to its blue color code, Blades finds federal and local law enforcement want to hang his black butt with the crime. He knows he needs to uncover with 200 proof evidence the identity of the real culprit or he will find himself behind bars.

Though containing a powerful condemnation of racism, this exciting urban noir is clearly for those in the audience who appreciate macho males bragging about sexual conquests in between acts of violence. So the question begs itself as to why this suburban female reviewer kept reading in spite of feeling like an outsider. Somehow Blades hooks the reader as an underdog David who the audience follows in hopes he wins the day against entrenched Goliath bureaucracies and regains his love. This work is clearly for specified sub-genre fans that will enjoy Blade's New York City joy ride.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Too Beautiful to Die

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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?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   60% Special suspect?    -   investigator him/herself Kind of investigator    -   skilled citizen investigator 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    -   champion of justice Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   Black


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   descript of kissing    -   descript. of breasts Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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