Title: Harlem Shuffle
Authors: Whitehead, Colson
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 318
Year: 2021
Language: English
Description: To his customers and neighbors on 125th street, Carney is an upstanding salesman of reasonably-priced furniture, making a life for himself and his family. He and his wife Elizabeth are expecting their second child, and if her parents on Striver's Row don't approve of him or their cramped apartment across from the subway tracks, it's still home.

Few people know he descends from a line of uptown hoods and crooks, and that his facade of normalcy has more than a few cracks in it. Cracks that are getting bigger and bigger all the time.

Cash is tight, especially with all those instalment plan sofas, so if his cousin Freddie occasionally drops off the odd ring or necklace at the furniture store, Ray doesn't see the need to ask where it comes from. He knows a discreet jeweller downtown who also doesn't ask questions.

Then Freddie falls in with a crew who plan to rob the Hotel Theresa - the 'Waldorf of Harlem' - and volunteers Ray's services as the fence. The heist doesn't go as planned; they rarely do, after all. Now Ray has to cater to a new clientele, one made up of shady cops on the take, vicious minions of the local crime lord, and numerous other Harlem lowlifes.

Thus begins the internal tussle between Ray the striver and Ray the crook. As Ray navigates this double life, he starts to see the truth about who actually pulls the strings in Harlem. Can Ray avoid getting killed, save his cousin, and grab his share of the big score, all while maintaining his reputation as the go-to source for all your quality home furniture needs? [Taken from book blurb, Little, Brown Books]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"This is an evocative, multi-layered piece of fiction, it's not just a family saga."

"A splendid portrayal of the racial and political divide that divided the US and has many parallels today."

"I enjoyed the fine, vibrant language. Highly recommended."

"Despite the grim story outline, the narration is gripping, leading in the last section to page-turning urgency."

"Life is harsh in Harlem, make no mistake. But the skill in the writing maintained my attention."

Categories: Fiction, Culture/Ethnic/Racial, Human Rights, Morals/Ethics, Political, Social commentary/perspectives, Suspense/Thriller, America, 2023 Titles - Coming Soon


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