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Book review: <i>Admission Of Guilt</i> by T V LoCicero

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the cover of the book

On the streets of Detroit, there's an epidemic of drug crime ruining a generation of kids. Can one lone man on a mission take down a mighty drug lord, armed only with sheer determination?

The story

John Giordano loves his job. He teaches at Lincoln Middle School in southwest Detroit. The pay is minimal, but he sincerely cares about his students. But the more he teaches, the more he notices that his students are pulled into the seedy underbelly created by desperate drug culture, be it the allure of the mighty dollar, or a family problem, or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

When John loses his job thanks to budget cuts while he watches drugs deteriorate the kids he cares about, he realises something must be done. He hatches a plan, and executes accordingly. But he's playing a dangerous game, with some very dangerous people. Can he, one man, make a difference?

The style

Admission of Guilt is the second book in Tom LoCiero's “Detroit I'm Dyin” trilogy, and as soon as the opening page had a cute black kid hopping into a car I was nervous. I remember the beginning of The Car Bomb and let's just say it started with a bang. And I was not disappointed (although I was right to be nervous) Because the action started from the first page.

LoCicero knows his stuff when it comes to building tension. I was completely invested from the word go. At first, I was expecting something closer to The Car Bomb, in that I was imagining the story would follow Frank DeFauw and his team and family, and he would be the one to solve the crime. However, Admission Of Guilt is very much its own story, which I appreciate. Frank DeFauw does appear, and plays a peripheral role, but the story is very much written from the points of view of the other major players. I appreciate this in a trilogy, because it allows other characters a chance to develop and keeps the storyline fresh and interesting.

And interesting this one was, again. Written in the third person, the story followed several players including John Giordano (obviously), a private detective named Charles and his social worker partner, and Steven Morelli, druglord, and family. While The Car Bomb was very noir-ish, Admission of Guilt was a bit gritty and contemporary. Sort of less like classic Raymond Chandler and more like watching The Wire. In fact, with some of the themes relating to education and kids and drugs and crime, I actually felt like I was being given the chance to read a Wire spin-off. Which, of course, I was totally into, because The Wire is just like THE BEST SHOW EVER. Sorry, I digress. I honestly did enjoy the early theming in Admission of Guilt for this reason though, as though I was being given the chance to read something similar to a TV show I had found so engaging. Certainly, don't get tricked into thinking that's all there is to this book though. The plot of Admission of Guilt certainly wasn't ripped from TV. It's suspenseful and tightly written, and I did, without spoiling, did really enjoy the ending. Poetic, it was.

The only thing I wish, and this is clearly my fault, is that I hadn't been reading this book in my last few weeks of semester. If I hadn't been reading TEXTBOOKS (sigh) I would have been able to read this as fast as I wanted. But it's very much like the first book in this trilogy. Well written, great story-line, nice characters. A winner.

Who is this book for?

If you read The Car Bomb, this is the obvious choice for you. Oh, and if you like The Wire? READ IT. It's compact. You'll love it.

In short

Title: Admission Of Guilt
Author: T V LoCicero
Publisher: TLC Media
ISBN: 978-0615823393
Year published: 2013
Pages: 248
Genre(s): Crime fiction
Review Type: