Thursday 30 August 2012

A.R.R - The Jazz Cage by Ray Chen Smith

The Jazz CageThe Jazz Cage by Ray Chen Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 2 days

Blurb From Goodreads

Prohibition-era mobsters collide with Underground Railroad abolitionists in The Jazz Cage.

It is 1924—sixty years after the South’s victory in the Civil War.

Frank McCluey, bounty hunter for the mob, is sent to help out a wealthy Virginian bootlegger. Frank’s job: track down two female slaves who’ve run away from the millionaire.

But the mob has made a bad choice. Instead of capturing the women, Frank decides to help them escape to Canada, his mission now aided by the pint-sized but steel-willed runaway Della and the outlawed Underground Railroad.

Soon Della and Frank become the target of slave catchers, cops, gangsters, and most chilling of all, a Confederate agent nicknamed the Hound for his ability to always sniff out and kill his prey.

My Review

This is a great story, the Civil War where the South won and slavery and racism is rife. Frank McCluey is a bounty hunter for the mob and hired to bring back two female slaves who have escaped from a millionaire that will stop at nothing get them back. However Frank is going though a crisis and instead of taking the women back he decides to help them, putting himself in the firing line for the mob, police and FSA agents. A fast paced story that will have you keep you hooked until the end.

I really liked this story, the two slaves and Frank are the main characters (along with the FSA Agent, known as The Hound). The story alternates between these 4 characters and we follow their escape and the characters who dip in and out of the story. There is a lot going on but not so much that you get lost or confused amongst the plot. The chapters are a few pages long (which I love) so you can fire through the book even if your working or have other things on as you can dip in and out.

Why only 3 stars for a book I really enjoyed? Well my knowledge on history isn't great so I found myself having to stop mid story and Google a few things which is no reflection on the story or writer (more my lack education) but it did then interrupt my reading (which most of you won't have an issue with). Also when the bad guy got paid, the amount was told by who was on the money rather than the amount, again I had to search as I am rubbish at knowing who is on what note (and would have the same issue on our countries notes). However I now know a wee bit more than I did before reading this book and may pick up a book on the Civil War and educate myself further.

The characters are very well written, Frank I just couldn't help but like considering what he is putting on the line to help these woman. The strength of these two ladies shows throughout the book (Della more so but Cece shines through as the story goes on). There is racism, a lot of bad words and the horrors the women suffer are told but doesn't go into horrific detail but enough fr you to understand why they are so desperate to get away (and so untrusting towards white folk). The Hound is a horrible despicable man who uses his status to get away with appalling crimes and punishes people for things that happened to him as a youngster. I don't think I have disliked a character so much since Percy in The Green Mile. The author has a wonderful talent for bringing the characters to life and I am still thinking of them despite finishing the book. 3/5 for me this time and thank you so much to the author for giving me the chance to read and review his work. I would definitely read this author again.

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  1. Great, honest review. Sounds like an interesting read though I can't help but think there are elements to this story that may prove difficult, even harrowing, reading.

  2. Thanks a bunch for your great review!

  3. I'm the same way, I'll research if I'm reading something that I'm not familiar with.
    Wonderful review!

  4. Not one for me but it was interesting to read your review.

  5. The post is written in very a good manner and it contains many useful information for me. Guinea Pig Cages - Cage Heaven


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