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Posted December 13, 2010
In Los Angeles, a successful African-American OB/GYN, Dr. Quentin Banks, arrives back at the office from a midday rendezvous and is shot and killed in broad daylight while exiting his car in the parking garage.
In a different part of town, four friends come together to mourn the death of their 32-year-old friend Maya. One of them, Maya's cousin Special, arrives late and proceeds to the dais to make the announcement that Maya did NOT die of pneumonia, but of AIDS, having been infected by her fiancee Eugene Nelson, an attorney she met at a Christian singles retreat. Another bombshell: Eugene is on "the down low", meaning that he also sleeps with men on the side.
Vernetta, an attorney at a high-powered firm, Nichelle, also an attorney and partner at a smaller firm, and J. C., a homicide detective, round out this circle of friends. They have a plan to make Eugene pay, and with permission from Maya's mother, file a lawsuit against Eugene for wrongful death.
Special, in her grief, also has plans to make Eugene pay. As she exacts her own form of revenge against Eugene, other successful African-American men are killed in the same fashion (and for the same reasons, as J. C. finds out) as Dr. Banks.
As J.C. tried to get her boss to warn the community of the danger, Vernetta is dealing with a backstabber at the office who is apparently the reason her mentor no longer favors her for partnership. Nichelle becomes an unofficial spokesperson, warning women of the dangers of unknowingly contracting AIDS from their partner, and Eugene leaves his job and turns to the church for healing.
This is a great legal thriller with it's own share of twists and turns. I tend to shy away from a lot of African-American fiction, even by black authors, because so often, they are filled with such stereotypical, misrepresented characters. NOT the case here. I found myself so angry at Eugene and at any man who would not represent himself fairly to his partner or wife, especially when that misrepresentation puts his partner at risk. But I also felt a lot of sympathy for him as he grappled with the repercussions of his actions and saw his life fall apart around him.
Vernetta is bolstered by her wonderfully supportive husband, Jefferson, who sees how unhappy she is at her firm and urges her to step back, take some time off, or even quit.
You feel so much for all of the characters that the mystery of who is committing the murders almost becomes secondary, until suspicion centers on one of THEM. I read through this in a day, it was that good.
The book also draws attention, in a low-key but effective way, to the spread of HIV and AIDS in the minority community. There ARE brothers out there on the "down low", but there are also Caucasian men that are doing the same. Most HIV is spread through heterosexual contact, in spite of the persisting myth that this is a "gay disease", and it is up to us as women to protect our bodies.
A female homicide detective in L. A. was rare enough. A black, female dick was about as common as a unicorn strolling down Crenshaw Boulevard.
"I already love you. I offer you a Snickers every time I see you, don't I? You think I do that with everybody? That's the ultimate gesture of love in my book."
"Excuse me. If somebody is shooting black"- he slowly enunciated every syllable - "ho-mo-sex-u-als, then as far as I'm concerned, they're doing
Posted December 17, 2009
I have read it and plan to read it again. Reading it kept me on the edge. I found myself being a detective. I have 5 pages of notes, listing each character and notes about each. My first suspect was Special Sharlene Moore. Then my second suspect was Rev. Sims. My final suspect was Belynda. Belynda just seemed too good of a person to be believable. There was a time - a brief time - when I suspected Diana Banks. She just seemed too naive and too trusting. I thought the title is an excellent title for the story's content. When I read a book, I always try to determine how the author arrived at / decided on the title. The story line really had me thinking hard about the brothers who are on the down low. You definitely can't tell by looks alone. You definitely can't tell by what a brother says because some brothers will choose to tell a lie than speak the truth. I will be heading to the library to check out other Pamela Samuels Young's two other books. I will also let my family and friends know about Pamela's three books.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 20, 2009
From bestselling author Pamela Samuels Young comes a new Vernetta Henderson adventure involving a web of deceit - and leaves a trail of bodies. Evidence shows one possible murderer and motive. However, Vernetta discovers the roots of these crimes are buried deeper, down low.
Pamela Samuels Young takes readers on a wild ride with this legal thriller. She spins an intriguing tale of infidelity, lies, hate and murder. "Murder on the Down Low" hooks you from the opening page and doesn't let go until the last. "Murder on the Down Low" is a very good book. Kudos to Pamela Samuels Young.
Reviewed by: Lela
Posted July 26, 2009
I thought the author did an excellent job of presenting varying perspectives of the "Down-Low" lifestyle and its ramifications. This book will not only have you on the edge of your seat with all the plot twists and turns. It challenges you to examine your views on discrimination, tolerance and how you respect your body and self.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 27, 2009
Murder On The Down Low is a must read. This book was great from the first page to the last. You will a ride of your life as you go on the ups and downs of the books. Pamela other two books are great alsoWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 27, 2009
I read this book in the first three days after having brain surgery. I could not put this book down, nor take any pain pills for fear they would make me sleepy and I could not read. I loved all the twists and turns of the book. It was an eye-opening experience into the life of the "down-low" situation that is plaguing America. This "down-low" situation is wreaking havoc on the African-American woman. The education I acquired while reading this book was very valuable and made this the book even more enjoyable. I have read all of Pamela's books and her books hold you in suspense down to the last sentence. Murder on the Down Low, as with the all the others, kept me feeling as though I really knew these people personally. I look forward to her next books with all the anticipation I experienced in reading the othersWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 20, 2009
I thoroughly enjoyed the new one from Pam Samuels Young- Murder on the Downlow - it was a page turner ! I kept wondering what surprise was next and which character was going to provide it !!! Her writing and stories are destined to make it to the movie screens !!Brothers....watch out !!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 19, 2008
I Also Recommend:
The author puts you in a place where the subject of HIV and AIDS is very hard to digest. With all the research she did and for her to come up with a fiction story to tell the truth about what is happening to someone and what's going on in the world today. It just amaze me as a writer,author and publisher. When you open this book you have to have a open mind to read this book because the truth is in the pudding.The book is so deep the story plot will have you going through the angry,pain and emotional state that the characters goes through. The characters and the places comes alive before your eyes. With all the twists and turns you will not guess who is the killer until the end. <BR/><BR/>Pamela Samuels-Young has not lost her touch, this is her third book and she is still shining and gloring all around the globe. She is one of a kind, a mystery writer that you don't want to not read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 23, 2009
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