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    Review of MONEY FOR GOOD by Franklin White (see his website)

    A WEST OWENS SERIES

    Strebor Books, November 2003

    West Owens is sitting in a grand jury, running out of money while his auto repair business languishes when one of his fellow jury members approachs him with a deal. The man being grilled by the D.A. surely stole the three hundred thousand dollars--perhaps he'd be willing to split it if they can get him off. It's a crazy idea, but West needs the money badly. The suspect, Rossi, agrees and everything seems perfect--until things get botched up, Rossi vanishes, West's girlfriend is killed, and the police start looking at West as the killer.

    Without any money, with a pregnant woman and her junkie sister in tow, and with increasing police problems, West's life seems like a dead end. But, if he could only find a way to get that money, there's a lot he'd like to do--most of it good.

    Author Franklin White writes convincingly of the African-American streets in Atlanta where life is cheap, drugs abundant, and the police are feared more than they are respected. West Owens makes an interesting and complex character. He's very much in the 'player' mentality, concerned about another man bringing food into his house and 'disrespecting' him, but he also wants to set an example for the neighbors as a man who runs a business and follows a certain moral code. I found his conversation about the use of the 'N' word to be particularly interesting and insightful.

    Unfortunately, West isn't much of a planner and his schemes for making big money always seem to land him in worse trouble than he was in before.

    MONEY FOR GOOD is an interesting book that makes for a compelling read. I would have liked to see a bit more logic and thought behind West's plans, some moral qualms about some of the actions that he chose to make, and I felt that the treatment of Lil'Man was a throw-in to raise emotions without really helping along the story. It's an interesting read, but one that fell short of what it could have been.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 4/05/04

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