A Lovely Murder Down South
by Paul Johnson
Reviewed by: The Pathfinder
Bloodshed, murder, rape, physical abuse, erotic lesbian scenes, jail, betrayal and sisterhood are all included in this graphic and harsh tale of life in the gritty South, Georgia to be exact. A Lovely Murder Down South by Paul Johnson is the story of three friends, Lovely, Joy, and Candace who made a commitment to each other after experiencing several tragic setbacks in their lives. Years of physical and sexual abuse by her mother’s ex- boyfriends and husband led to Lovely’s distrust of men. Joy on the other hand, had a deep hatred for men and that was clearly conveyed from the outset. However, I wasn’t quite sure as to whether she felt that way because of her sexual orientation or was it because of the tragedy she suffered. Joy did make it known as to how she felt about the drug dealers.
“ . . . I hate’ em . . . when I get older I’m gonna make those dope boys pay for what they did.”
Candace on the other hand seemed the more mature, streetwise and independent of the other two girls. Always scheming and plotting she was obsessed with the lifestyle the drug dealers were living and yearned to take them on. Her bi-sexual exploits and her unyielding bravado were refreshing to say the least.
This close-knit group, attractive and young uses their sexuality and smarts to spin a web of deceit, lies, and paranoia amongst a number of men they came in contact with. Determined to establish themselves and enjoy the finer things in life, the women embark on a chilling quest to get "paid" as they leave broken hearts, dead bodies and a lot of unanswered questions along their path. Lovely, who is the prettiest of the girl’s and the antagonist in the story reveals a side of her that will have you rooting for her. By chance she falls for one of the most notorious drug dealers, in Atlanta, and after several volatile exchanges between them, their relationship soured. For the life of me I never understood why she got involved with him in the first place. She never loved him or owed him any favors, and for her to give in to his request because she felt sorry for him was kind of mind boggling to me.
It turns out that Lovely is no dummy and so are the other girls, yet it took me a while to accept some of the events that were taking place as the story got closer to its climax. Understandably, Lovely shows a deep maturity as she developed through her interaction with the others. Mr. Johnson seemed to have a crush on Lovely, because he either steered her away from certain things or downplayed her role. Lovely was looking for true love and when she found it, it was denied. Mr. Johnson put a surprising spin on this climatic outcome, one I’m sure his readers will enjoy. You get pulled into the story line and immediately feel the connection Mr. Johnson wants you to feel toward Lovely. A very gangster drug dealer sort of read, quite enjoyable.
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