As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Published by WiDo Publishing: Salt Lake City, Utah, 28
September 2019. ISBN 978-1-947966-20-8 (PB)
is told from the viewpoints of three people, two young and one middle-aged, who
all live in Philadelphia. They find themselves caught up in the most
horrendous nightmare that two families, one black and one white could ever
voice is Ryan, a young, white, rookie cop. He is a straightforward,
church-going lad who is engaged to be married. Unfortunately, he has just shot
a black, unarmed teenager called Tyrell Wakefield. Ryan feels guilty about the
shooting and wants to tell the truth about what actually happened, both to
Tyrell’s family and to Detective Wiley from internal affairs who is
investigating the shooting. He is hampered from doing so because his regular
partner is Sergeant Greg Byrnes, a dishonest and racist cop. Byrnes can’t be
relied on to give Ryan and his family good advice, but they feel loyalty to him
because he was with Ryan’s father when he was shot and killed several years ago
and has acted as a surrogate father to Ryan ever since.
voice is Tyrell’s sister Jade. She is in her mid-twenties and has been emotionally
unstable ever since her father, Kelly, abandoned her and the rest of his family
when she was ten. Jade wants two things: justice for Tyrell, and to get
Kelly, whom she neither likes nor trusts, out of her life. She will
do anything to achieve her ambitions.
our third voice. An erstwhile gangster, he returns to Philadelphia as a
reformed character. Kelly wants two things: to get his wife and family back and
to get justice for his son Tyrell. To this end Kelly embarks on a mission
to help rehabilitate young criminals. This job, and Kelly’s future, are
compromised when, in a desperate attempt to win Jade’s approval, Kelly asks an
old mate –a criminal one – to do him a favour.
therapist recommends that Ryan should confront his fears by going to live in a
predominately black area, Ryan and Jade meet and are attracted to each other.
Detective Wiley and Jade persuade Ryan to entrap Byrnes. But Jade is also
following her own agenda. It isn’t just Byrnes that Jade wants to destroy.
of unarmed black youngsters by a white policeman is a difficult and
uncomfortable subject to deal with, but I thought Stephen Clark handled it
confidently and even-handedly. Internal conflicts within the two families are
sympathetically described as are a host of other characters; mothers, aunts,
friends, lawyers, civic officials, who leap off the pages as being warm,
caring, suffering, cantankerous, argumentative and manipulative as they search
in their different ways, both private and public, for closure for themselves
and Ryan and justice for Tyrell. With no possibility of a happy
ending, and the knowledge that those who have lost a child will never stop
grieving, Hands Up manages to provide reasonable compromises on the way
forwards for two of its three main characters. It is a thought-provoking
book that, notwithstanding our close involvement with its tragic content, makes
a very satisfying and enjoyable read.
Clark is a former award-winning
journalist who served as a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times and as
a politics editor for the Washington, D.C. bureau of FoxNews.com. As
a reporter for the Utica Observer-Dispatch, he won a New York Newspaper
Publishers Association Award of Distinguished Community Service for his
investigation into the financial struggles of nonprofit services. He also won a Society of Professional
Journalists Award for Investigative Reporting at the Stamford Advocate for his
series exposing an elderly grifter’s charity organization. Stephen grew up in
the suburbs of Philadelphia and now lives in North Jersey with his wife and
son. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Arcadia University and a
master’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University.
Angela Crowtheris a
retired scientist. She has published many scientific papers but, as yet,
no crime fiction. In her spare time Angela belongs to a Handbell Ringing
group, goes country dancing and enjoys listening to music, particularly the
operas of Verdi and Wagner.