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Posted July 22, 2004
When Barbados born writer Glenville Lovell departed from the literary genre that had earned him much acclaim, he moved clear across town to crime fiction with 'Too Beautiful To Die' (2003). This was a sensation, surprising some by Lovell's deft switch, delighting many with his pictures of Caribbean immigrants and his creation of hot tempered black ex-cop Blades Overstreet. In 'Too Beautiful To Die,' Overstreet is in the middle of a nasty lawsuit with the NYPD. He accused a fellow policeman of shooting him on purpose and claiming it was accidental simply because of the Overstreet's color. His wife leaves him, driven away by his almost uncontrollable rage. He agrees to help a soap opera star siren get information about her wherever-in-the-world-can-he-be father. Ooops, an FBI agent turns up dead, and Overstreet is suspected. Now, he has both the NYPD and the FBI on his back. As 'Love and Death in Brooklyn' opens Overstreet is in church. After all, this is Brooklyn, the 'Borough of Churches. He and his wife, Anais, have reconciled and he's grateful for a warm relationship with the eight-year-old daughter he didn't know he had. Perhaps most of all he's grieving for the pain of his friend and mentor, university professor Noah Plantier. It was supposed to have been a celebratory evening, a birthday party for Noah. But, in the midst of dinner brilliant, Harvard educated Ronan, Noah' son, is gunned down leaving 'a hole you could put a fist through in the back of his head.' Not only was Ronan a beloved son, he was also a hero in the Black community and a first year city councilman. Ronan, of course, had many friends but he also had a few enemies. Overstreet can't figure out if his death was politically motivated - could it have been arranged by Baron Spencer, Ronan's former adversary in the city council race, a man who seeks to revive the Black Panthers in a different mold? Or, was the shooting perhaps motivated by a gone sour affair of the heart? Obsessed only mildly describes Overstreet's state of mind. He's determined to find the killer but the more he probes the more he places his life and the lives of his family at risk. Set against the atmospheric backdrop of multi-racial Brooklyn Lovell presents one more thriller to keep readers up all night. - Gail Cooke
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Posted December 9, 2008
Several years have passed since the ¿friendly fire¿ bust nearly cost the former NYPD African-American Officer Blades Overstreet his life. He became so acrimonious in his thirst for vengeance his beloved wife Anais fled across the country to California. His friend Noah helped Blades release some of his anger, but what helped most was winning his lawsuit against the NYPD last year for 2.5 million and getting Anais and their preadolescent daughter back living with him in Brooklyn. Much of the bitterness has left Blades though he can still taste some bile.---- Blades attends Noah¿s sixtieth birthday party held at a South African restaurant when Ronan, the son of the guest of honor, arrives in spite of a rift wider than the Grand Canyon between father and son. The joy is short-lived when thugs appear and kill Ronan in front of the ecstatic party attendees. Perhaps he has a compulsive personality that makes Blades obsess over the homicide and makes inquiries, but soon finds his life and loved ones threatened by the Brooklyn-based Russian Mafia. Ignoring the police warning him to stay out of this and driving Anais crazy, Blades continues his private investigation.---- LOVE AND DEATH IN BROOKLYN uses the same theme of a fanatical angry Blades seeking resolution but driving his wife crazy and the police confrontational as he did in the wonderful TOO BEAUTIFUL TO DIE yet the plot is wrapped around an entirely different delightful plot. While Blades stays true to character, the fast-paced story line takes readers throughout Brooklyn. The delightful secondary ensemble enables readers to see inside Blades and his co-star, the largest borough, to the heart and mean streets in a terrific urban private investigate tale.---- Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.