This book also comes from the Alachua County Public Library, was on 12 CDs, 12 hours and 30 minutes long, and narrated by Bill Andrew Quinn. I plucked this one off the shelf because I recognized the author's name, and I knew I had never read him.
At 25 years old, Dante Brown has no family, no job, and plenty of baggage. He did a long stretch in juvenile hall as a teenager after he pulled a gun on his abusive father, who was also a police officer. Both parents are now dead, and his luck has been more down than up. While waiting for a new employer to call him, Dante falls back on the safety net offered by Scamz, a slick con-man who provides short term employment for the entire black community at one time or another. At least it seems that way in this story.
I found this story rather disturbing because it looks like every black person with a legitimate job only serves as an undercover asset for Scamz: stealing credit card information, acting as a courier for stolen plastic, assisting in real-estate swindles. And every woman is a snake. They are either trying to tag some innocent dupe to be the daddy of someone else's child, stepping out on the dupe, or doing anything for money. If I had written this, I could expect to see my face on Fox News right next to Reverend Al's talking head.
If this is just an "authentic novel about black culture", it's a serious downer. I find it hard to believe that every African-American is on retainer for an ad hoc firm of grifters. I don't know anyone like this. Or maybe I do and I just don't know it.
A very sad story well-written, for which I cannot forgive its infectious negativity. It gets 2 ambivalent stars.