COLD BLOODED by The Urban Griot


A Hardcore Novel
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Chicago hit man does what a hit man does—again and again.

If there’s anything funnier than Omar Tyree (Leslie, 2002, etc.) donning the thugged-out pen name used on College Boy and other paperback originals, it’s watching him try to write in a style that will justify this moniker. As if trying to find a protagonist to suit the subtitle, the Griot comes up with deadly, sugary-smooth assassin-for-hire Molasses. We start off in a low-rent motel room in St. Louis—though it might as well be Anchorage for all we can tell. Molasses is putting the moves on Janeia, a good girl from Chicago who likes her mysterious boyfriend and doesn’t ask too many questions. Which is good, because he wants to take care of some business while in town, and business means putting bullets in some guy, complete with the Griot-supplied, italicized sound effects (“Theessrrpp! Bloom!”). It’s always a guy, because Molasses, like your average fictional hit man, doesn’t kill women or children. (Even a killer has limits.) After Molasses returns home to Chicago, he has a hit in Dallas, then a job in Brooklyn, then others that pile up, each event described with all the alacrity that one would expect from a kid raised on bad TV (“the hit-man business paid well, but the shit was a real hassle sometimes”). In between, easy-on-the-eyes Molasses gets to have his way with just about any woman who crosses his path. Janeia doesn’t mind the killer part so much, but when she finds out that Molasses is having a lot on the side, she gets into a bit of a snit. There’s not much else here in the story department other than the possibility that the hit-man’s white partner might be setting him up; Molasses simply goes from one kill and one girl to the next with sleep-inducing regularity.

A poor man’s Donald Goines, or a really, really poor man’s Chester Himes.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-7432-6190-9
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2004


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