A Good Murder Mystery!
Charlotte Carter's mystery, Jackson Park, occurs in the midst of the aftermath of the MLK assassination where Black people are still
angry and disillusioned, politicians are very nervous, and the city is still smoldering from the riots. Carter's unlikely "shero" is Cassandra, a college coed; a witty, hippi-ish
misfit who is raised by her great-aunt and uncle. Despite the volatile atmosphere,
she clings to optimism and hope so when a request to assist a family friend presents itself, she jumps at the opportunity
Danger befalls Cassandra and her family as the seemingly harmless appeal to find a missing girl leads
to a decades old murder of a white schoolteacher by a black mentally challenged boy.
While on this adventure, she discovers the boy was wrongly accused, learns of her uncle's shady past, and matures on
many levels. We follow a trail that leads to a Black vigilante group (The Roots),
dirty politicians, police brutality/corruption and are reminded that as much things change, some things remain the same.
I enjoyed the way in which Carter
intermingled the old with the new throughout the novel. She paired the young,
idealistic, energetic Black youth with the older, cautious, realistic generation to teach the lessons of discretion and patience. Through Cassandra's eyes and ears, we heard the music of Marvin and Aretha; we saw glimpses of war protesters, civil rights activists, and the
emerging women's liberation movement. In as much as this was a walk down memory lane, it was an amusing and suspenseful story
that was entertaining and easy to read.
The Nubian Circle Book Club rating for Jackson Park is 3.5 of 5 stars.
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