CRACKER BLING by Stephen Solomita


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Solomita (Monkey in the Middle, 2008, etc.) reexamines the shibboleth having to do with crime and the lack of payment thereof.

Nineteen-year-old Judson Hootier, known as Hootie on Harlem’s mean streets, is a soul in torment. His mom’s black; his dad was a full-blooded Crow Indian; and the resulting identity crisis gives him no peace. Currently on probation after nine miserable months on Rikers Island for small-time burglary, he’s homeless, purposeless and hopeless. Then he meets redoubtable Bubba Yablonsky and his enticing female partner Amelia Cincone. Bubba and Amelia are crooks with a vision. To them, poverty irks most because it deprives its victims of the respect only money can buy. While this sort of respect doesn’t come easily to people in their socioeconomic bracket, it’s by no means out of reach. As Bubba puts it, “Every great fortune begins with a crime.” Hootie is more than ready to join in this chorus, despite occasional misgiving along the way. These multiply exponentially when he learns the details of the crime Bubba has in mind, even though Hootie agrees that big payoffs seldom come to the risk-averse. When this particular bonanza arrives, it’s a shock to all concerned.

The writing, the plotting and a cast of fully fleshed characters make this a nice, shivery walk on the dark side.

Pub Date: March 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7278-6721-6
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Severn House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2009


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