A police detective pursues a dangerous gang leader in Jacob’s debut thriller.
A vicious beating puts Detective Angela Harwell on the hunt for Tyrone “T-Bone” Reed, a violent gangster who leads a crime syndicate known as the Family. Undeterred by the gangster’s infamous reputation, Harwell tries to track down the elusive figure, motivated in part by her relationship with the victim as well as her own past as a victim of domestic abuse. Meanwhile, T-Bone enlists his crew to help cover evidence of his crime, and as Harwell’s investigation furthers, his effort becomes deadly. Harwell receives unlikely help from one of Tyrone’s closest associates, Danny, a witness to the beating that brought to the surface long-harbored doubts about his involvement with the Family. Knowing that the only way to escape the Family and protect his family is to stop Tyrone, Danny teams up with Harwell and DJ Sanders, a young Navy SEAL whose father was murdered by Tyrone. Recurring themes of abuse permeate the novel, most prominently in the protagonist’s childhood abuse and her subsequent work as a domestic violence detective. More subtly, interactions among Tyrone and his fellow gang members suggest the cyclical nature of abuse, a notion revealed in the vivid asides that frequently interject the narrative: “His childhood, and innocence, seemed hopelessly, unbearably distant. It was as if he’d become an adult at age six, right around the time his father left.” The weighty nature of these themes can bog down the narrative’s drive, which, despite its quick unraveling, sometimes strays too close to melodrama. The novel might also feel unrealistic to those looking for a gritty, modern take on the genre. Nevertheless, the intense climax is befitting an action film.
A straightforward crime thriller with a few additional layers of powerful emotion.