Hands Up By Stephen Clark

November 6, 2019

Officer Ryan Quinn, a rookie raised in a family of cops, is on the fast track to detective until he shoots an unarmed black male. Now, with his career, reputation and freedom on the line, he embarks on a quest for redemption that forces him to confront his fears and biases and choose between conscience or silence.

Jade Wakefield is an emotionally damaged college student living in one of Philadelphia’s worst neighborhoods. She knows the chances of getting an indictment against the cop who killed her brother are slim. When she learns there’s more to the story than the official police account, Jade is determined, even desperate, to find out what really happened. She plans to get revenge by any means necessary.

Kelly Randolph, who returns to Philadelphia broke and broken after abandoning his family ten years earlier, seeks forgiveness while mourning the death of his son. But after he’s thrust into the spotlight as the face of the protest movement, his disavowed criminal past resurfaces and threatens to derail the family’s pursuit of justice.

Ryan, Jade, and Kelly--three people from different worlds—are on a collision course after the shooting, as their lives interconnect and then spiral into chaos



I would like to thank the author Stephen Clark for the review request and copy of his new novel, 'Hands Up', in exchange for my honest review.

As per the blurb above, this book tells the story of 3 differing view points after a young black man is shot to death in the all to common event of a racially charged police shooting in the USA. As a reviewer from the UK I have no real experience of this kind of thing, I only see what the news channels, social media and the newspapers show me. But I am aware this goes on and just how common it is.

The story is of the shooter and police officer Ryan, Jade, the victims sister, and Kelly, the victims estranged father, who has shown back up on the scene after the shooting.

Told from the 3 viewpoints, rather than be a standard crime thriller or police procedural, its hard to pigeonhole this book, its more a story of the effects that the tragedy has on everyone involved around it.

The differing way it takes hold of the characters is well done, Ryan's spiral into drink , Jade's anger and use of self harming and the Kelly, the ex gangster father who is suddenly interested again after the death - I couldn't find any thing in me to like Kelly's character.

its written very well, its paced very well, and at times, as you would imagine, it's quite hard to read but for me it's almost essential reading.

The ending carries enough of a shock to say yes this can be put in the crime book bracket, but this book is more than that, it's a tale for our times, and an important tale at that.

A book that has brought more to light for me that this goes on, and a book that explores both sides of the coin.

Absorbing, upsetting , almost beguiling, I appreciated this book more than I expected to and for me its a triumph for Stephen Clark, and a book I hope reaches a wide audience and its message is read by the many.

A Highly Recommended Read. Though I cant call it a straight down the line 'Crime' Book

4 🔥🔥🔥🔥

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