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Monday, December 12, 2011

My review of Snitch by Booker T. Mattison

About the book:

On the streets of Jersey City there is a simple code. You don't talk to the cops. You don't snitch. Period. But when bus driver Andre Bolden witnesses a crime on his route, he is compelled to make a choice. If he keeps silent, he might lose his job and be gnawed by his conscience. If he snitches, he could lose his family—even his life.

This explosive story explores the clash between a working man and the code of the street. Gifted storyteller Booker T. Mattison has crafted a realistic tale full of tension and raw suspense yet infused with spiritual truth. Snitch rewrites the rule to mind your own business, peers into the hearts of those who seek revenge and redemption, and celebrates the ability of a community to triumph over violence and intimidation.

My review:
Snitch is a gritty novel that I couldn't stop reading. The characters were complex and the story was insightful regarding the human condition. Plus, the action was almost non-stop. To me it felt like the people in the story were real people, and a couple of times I was scared myself, so I can only imagine how the people felt who lived in that gang-infested neighborhood. The slang and dialog the characters used made the story feel even more authentic to me. The author did a fantastic job with the setting as well. At times I felt like I was living on the streets, too. I loved how the author didn't hold back and told it like he saw it. So many books soft-step the tough issues and water them down. This book kept it real, which I appreciated.

There were a number of complexities in this novel that I found impressive. So many spiritual issues were dealt with, but in a relevant way. I felt bad for Andre on so many levels and found his transformation quite compelling. He really hit an all-time low when he ended up homeless and couldn't get a job. His son loved him dearly, but Andre couldn't even provide for him, which broke my heart. Everything seemed to spiral downward, and a few times he'd almost given up hope. Those scenes were well-written. I could see the temptation to end it all, but I also saw God's hand in Andre's life. Some good men came alongside Andre and helped lift his head. The theme of men helping and supporting other men in need really touched my heart. It also made me crave some hot wings, lol!

Last, I loved that the author didn't spare the characters any pain. Bad things happened, and just when you thought things couldn't possibly get any worse, they did. Snitch was difficult to put down and held my attention for the duration of the novel. I read it quickly. The prose was well-written, the poetry was insightful and engaging, and the plot went far beyond what I thought it would when I started reading. I kept forgetting it wasn't real life. This sophomore effort by Mattison tops his prior book, and I didn't think it could get any better than Unsigned Hype. Snitch is a keeper and I highly recommend it.

Snitch was published by Revell and released in May 2011. It's making my best fiction list for 2011.


Unknown said...

This book sounds delightful. I love good mysteries. It is hard sometimes to do what you know is the right thing. Even if it might cost you.
I am glad that I hae never been in the position of the main character in the book.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the review, I just added this to my to-read list on Goodreads!

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