Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Dying Ground: A Novel

Dying Ground: A Novel

5.0 10
by Nichelle D. Tramble

See All Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0345494822

ISBN-13: 2900345494824

Pub. Date: 09/26/2006

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Billy: dead. Felicia: missing.

None of the words made sense together, but the doom I'd expected announced itself. I felt iron in my mouth, like I'd gargled with pennies, a taste like blood, a bitter taste that always followed bad news.

The setting is Oakland, 1989; the crack epidemic is at its height and turf wars are brewing. Maceo Redfield,


Billy: dead. Felicia: missing.

None of the words made sense together, but the doom I'd expected announced itself. I felt iron in my mouth, like I'd gargled with pennies, a taste like blood, a bitter taste that always followed bad news.

The setting is Oakland, 1989; the crack epidemic is at its height and turf wars are brewing. Maceo Redfield, currently on hiatus from college, is walking a fine line between respectability and involvement in Oakland's drug underworld. As he waits in the neighborhood barbershop, one of his closest childhood friends, Holly Ford, brings him the news of the murder of Billy Crane, the third member of their childhood trio and a successful drug dealer. Felicia, Billy's girlfriend and Maceo's true love, is on the run and suspected of setting up the hit. As he searches for Felicia and the answer to the mystery of Billy's murder, Maceo is drawn deeper into a world in which dealers, players, and interlopers, obeying a code of honor all their own, engage in a deadly game to capture the heart of Oakland. When Maceo uncovers the truth about Billy, the story builds to a terrifying and painful climax.

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:

Table of Contents

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Dying Ground 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book really hit home for me, being from the steets of Oakland, I could relate to some of the author's scenes during the chapters. I enjoyed the reading, it capture me and I just did not want to put it down. When I read the last page, I just had to have more right away. I look forward to the next generation of novels from Nichelle. Well done, well written. Go buy it, it's worth the money.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An outstanding book that draws you in and has you not wnating to the book down till you're done yet you never want the book to end. Can't wait for the sequel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In THE DYING GROUND by Nichelle Tramble, Maceo Redfield is searching the volatile streets of Oakland, California to find the love of his life, Felicia. To get to her, he maneuvers through the death and destruction that crack cocaine has brought to the city and the African American community. While searching for Felicia, Maceo, a promising baseball player, is forced to decide who he is going to be. Is he going to be the man his grandparents have raised him to be? Is he going to join his childhood friends, Holly (Jonathan Ford) and he now deceased Billy Crane in the steet life? When the search for Felicia ends, on what side of the line will Maceo stand? As Maeco looks for Felicia, we meet his family and closest friends. All have been touched by violence, death, drugs and family secerts. Readers are taken on a journey that is often grim and sometimes exciting. Ms. Tramble, in her first novel, is able to speak effectively from a young male's point of view. She uses vivid language to create pictures of the city of Oakland and the characters in THE DYING GROUND. Oakland's rise and fall is a metaphor for the complicated lives and history of African-Americans as they search for survival, success and a place in the 'American dream'. Ms. Tramble tells a story that incorporates mystery and the passage of Maceo into manhood. When THE DYING GROUND ends, readers are left wanting to know more about Maceo and his supporting cast of characters.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best books i have ever read. It is sort of slow in the first few chapters but it gets alot better as it goes on.. its about a boy who has to live with the death of his friend and figure out who has murdered him... I couldn't put it down i had to read until i figured out what happened in the end..it's a book i will be able to read again and again just to uncover more secrets in the story
Guest More than 1 year ago
Caught up best describes the way I felt upon reading the first few pages. The author not only puts you in the middle of the drug wars of Oakland 1989, but SHE also gives it to you from a man's perspective. The twists and turns of Maceo's discoveries continued to have me more involved as the story unfolded. This rollercoaster has you on edge from the beginning and catching your breath at the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw the author speak at a bookstore in New Jersey and suggested the book to my reading group. It started a heated debate about family, love, responsibility and we all loved it. The book is more than a mystery, it's also about a family and a city and a love story that blew me away. I'm not sure what hip hop noir means but don't let it turn you away from the book. This is one of the best books I read in years. Looking forward to the next book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nichelle did an excellent job of bringing us back to Oakland 1989. She tells a story that cannot be more real for the reader, whether you are from Oakland, down with hip hop, in the dope game or not. There didn't seem to be a detail missed (although I thought the earthquake was gonna be mentioned towards the end). Nichelle did her research because she got down and dirty with the drug/street game as well as hit home with some of the Bay Area/Oakland history lessons. So *did* George Lucas base the AT-ATs off the cargo cranes in Oakland or what? The language she used in this novel is real, a blend of Oakland slang mixed with a natural flow that was worthy of reading this book aloud. This book was a great read and much love to Nichelle for writing this well crafted book. Did I mention the suspense has you reading til the end and asking for more?
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book from cover to cover in one sitting.Why?Because she captured me.I am from the Bay Area grew up in the time period of the book, dealt with some of the issues of the book, and could not have told a better story. She caputured the essence of the deeply guarded codes to the streets.She spoke on topics and mannerisms as though she was there.She brought back those vivid images of those days past. Nichelle keep writing girl.I am eagerly awaiting the next book in your collection.I want to know what happens to Maceo. But I wouldnt be mad if you flipped the script totally and came anew, because I know that the picture you will paint will rival anything that Picasso has ever canvased.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If ever there was an heir to Walter Mosley, I think I've just read her. This book carries atmosphere as delicately as a butler would serve an expensive serving ordered by Bill Gates. Keep writing, Nichelle. I'm hooked.
harstan More than 1 year ago
> In 1989 Oakland, teenager Maceo Albert Bouchaund has everything, coming from an upper middle class family. His grandfather Albert is considered as one of the city¿s patriarchs. He attends college at nearby Berkley though he is currently visiting at home. He also is a fine baseball player in spite of being small for the sport.

However, Maceo¿s world changes when he learns that someone put a bullet into the head of his childhood buddy Billy Crane, a major local player in the lucrative drug trafficking. The murder of Billy is not a shocker as dealers are routinely killed in the competitive quest for customers. When Maceo learns that Billy¿s girlfriend Flea vanished, he decides he must do something because she is the unrequited love of his life. As he begins to investigate Billy¿s death and search for Flea, Maceo finds the enticing side of the drug world calling to him like a sexy siren. Will he fall to its lure in spite of his heritage?

THE DYING GROUND is quite a coup as first time novelist Nichelle D. Tramble provides more than a very good urban amateur sleuth tale. The story line centers on the full picture, including glamour, of the drug industry that still holds on to many American communities. Maceo is a wonderful protagonist, struggling with the thin line between his moral upbringing and the instant gratification of the fool¿s gold drug world. Though many readers will need to adjust to the accents of the secondary cast, this approach provides a real feel to Oakland in the first year of what now seems like ancient history of papa Bush¿s administration.

Harriet Klausner