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.
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