Weekend Reads: “Ace Boon Coon”

5/5 Stars

I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for a review. The book is scheduled for official release on September 15, 2020.

When I opened the first Elliot Caprice novel, A Negro and an Ofay, I told my husband that I wanted to be Danny Gardner when I grew up. His prose takes you smack into the middle of a scene (in that particular case, a Chicago jail cell during Jim Crow) and doesn’t let go of you until after you close the cover of the book.

In this sequel, Caprice is still trying to help save his uncle’s farm, as well as figuring out how many of his old friends from childhood are involved in a racketeering “short paper” operation (aka, collecting protection money) … and why so many of them seem to turn up dead.

One of the things that was a little confusing is that flashbacks to Caprice’s childhood were not readily delineated. You had to figure out from context that he was now a little kid, or a teenager, or a soldier … and then you’d find yourself back in the main setting of the book. It was a distraction at times, as I had to go back and re-read to make sure I understood what was going on.

In the end, though, Gardner presented another solid historical noir detective story with more twists and turns than Chicago has back alleys. Highly recommended.

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