Review: Ghettoside


By Jill Leovy
Spiegel & Grau, Hardcover, 9780385529983, January 2015, 384pp.

The Short of It:

An interesting look at one particular murder case in Los Angeles and how black on black crimes have been challenging detectives for years.

The Rest of It:

Ghettoside is a police procedural which covers (mostly) the murder investigation of a Los Angeles detective’s black son, who was killed by another black man while walking down the street. Leovy delves into the history of black on black crime in Los Angeles and why the cycle of black violence continues.

Focusing on the investigation, we meet detectives who have chosen to work in South Central because they firmly believe that that is where the most improvement can be made. That, in itself, was refreshing.

This book has all sorts of fascinating statistics. Those of you who eat that stuff up will find this book a quick and interesting read. But it’s a tragic read as well. So many young lives lost and we are not talking about gang members. We are talking about young kids, 13 and 14 year-olds riding their bikes down the street or kids who happened to be wearing he wrong color that day. All of them black on black crimes which to this day puzzle law enforcement.

What can be done? One detective in particular goes out of his way to take that extra step with the hope of breaking the cycle and as a reader, you suddenly realize how overwhelmingly hopeless the situation must be. At the same time though, one life saved is still something, right? You can’t really put a price on that.

It’s a tough topic but an important one and even with all the stats I breezed through it. My book club discusses it later this week so we’ll see what they have to say about it.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

12 thoughts on “Review: Ghettoside”

  1. South Central is where Harry Bosch works! I shy away from books with a lot of statistics, so it’s good to know the stats don’t weigh the story down.

    1. I’ve never read any of the Bosch books! Are they good?

      I have a BIL who is a detective and a lot of what he has told me about the job, matches what is said in this book. That is a side that I didn’t expect to read about. How even if you are an ace at what you do, to get promoted you often have to leave that post. So a lot of these ace detectives end up staying even though they can get compensated better somewhere else.

      On Tue, Feb 2, 2016 at 5:47 AM, Book Chatter wrote:


      1. Michael Connelly is the only mystery author I have read all of! I like them on audio, but my husband has read them all in print. I haven’t tried the Harry Bosch TV series because I have my own image of him in my head!

    1. I don’t know how narrates the audio book but I imagine it would be good to listen to. It’s written in a way that’s easy to follow.

  2. It’s always good for those of us who are blessed not to have to suffer through this kind of violence to learn more about it and the bigger world around us.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s