BOOK REVIEW

HARD REVOLUTION - GEORGE PELECANOS

As a young teen, Derek Strange spent most of his time with a friend, Billy, who was Greek.  The Martini brothers were troublemakers and wanted Derek to "do something" to prove himself.   They walked through the aisles of a neighborhood store and Dominic picked up a comb and put it in his pocket.  Derek tried taking a padlock but got caught.  Mr. Fein, the manager, decided to let Derek go.  He asked Derek what he wanted to do when he was older and Derek replied "police".  He told Derek that what he did while a young man could reflect on him later in life. 

Derek's brother, Dennis, is home from the service with a disability pension after serving in Vietnam.  He has some bad habits including drugs and alcohol.  Things get worse when he comes under the influence of Alvin Jones. 

Is Derek able to help his brother Dennis? 

In 1968, Derek does become a Washington D.C. policeman.  Derek and a white cop, Frank Vaughn, soon come together when a black man is run over in the street.

What happens during this time of unrest with the civil rights movement?

George Pelecanos has done an outstanding job of writing about actions of neighborhood street-wise members and following them through more turbulent times in their lives.  Throughout this book, you can feel the anguish of these characters as they lived through the unrest of the civil rights movement.  You can also feel the pain they faced because of the racial segregation that was so prevalent at this time. The author has woven all these emotions together and created characters that are very real.

The book has everything you would want in a novel.  It has a compelling plot and at the same time, it gives the reader a feel for events that took place during the civil rights movement.  These historical events in our society are intertwined with a great story.  This book is excellent and one that should be added to your "must read" list!

REVIEWED BY NANCY EATON

DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR, NANCY EATON

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