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Harlem Redux
by Persia Walker

Category: Fiction / Historical
309 pages; ISBN: 0743224973

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner

Review

After serving in France during World War I, David McKay attends Howard Law School. Following graduation, David becomes a civil-rights attorney. His efforts mostly occur in the South, gaining David a reputation and many enemies. David avoids lynching by going underground. While he works in hiding, one of his sisters, Lilian commits suicide.

When David finally learns that his sibling is dead, he resurfaces in Harlem to find out what happened. He quickly realizes that life moved on while he toiled around saving the world. Feeling guilty, David makes inquiries into Lilian’s life after he became a big shot attorney. He finds out that Lilian married attorney Jameson Sweet, who inherited most of the relatively large estate. David meets former lover Rachel, who informs him that she gave birth to his child after he went underground. His little girl, whom he had never seen, died from an illness. Rachel and David marry, but soon the police suspect him of killing Sweet with his motive vengeance. Now he must prove his innocence.

HARLEM REDUX is a powerful historical fiction focusing on the life of African-Americans in the 1920s. The mysteries take a sidebar to the vivid descriptions of the era through the price of active involvement in a good cause on one’s personal life. David is a wonderful lead character and the insightful look at mid-twenties Harlem Renaissance is a delight. Though the Sweet homicide subplot adds little to the tale except an unnecessary coda, sub-genre fans have quite a treat and hopefully Persia Walker will furbish a sequel starring David and cronies living during the Depression.

Harriet Klausner

 

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