Officer Down  by Mo Shines

Officer Down

by Mo Shines
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Reviewed by: QB Wells
January 2010


Officer Down by Mo Shines is a street tale testament of the tragedy people of color live within the city. At it’s core the book explores the depths of hatred that can push innocent people to become cop killers. The murder of black males by police is historically documented. However, most of the time, the police are acquitted and do not have to pay for the loss of black life. Therefore, too often individuals in the African American community live as victims to the police that are supposed to serve them.

Faith Green is a devout mother and hardworking individual whose son is slain by the NYC Police Department. After the police are not given any consequences for their actions, Faith is forced to deal with the grief of losing a child she raised the “right way”. Faith meets and becomes involved with an ex-convict Capone she meets in church. After a period of depression, Capone aids Faith in her time of need.

Faith convinces Capone to help her avenge the death of her son and give her justice, along with the other individuals from her community that have been slain. They “set it off” and begin to kill the officers responsible, one at a time. The police department and the city are bedazzled and the citizens panic.

Officer Down shines because the topic and subject matter deal with an issue that is relevant. Although fiction, the book provides insight into how an individual deals with the loss of a loved one by the hands of the police. Mo Shines does a triumphant job of carrying the story forward in an entertaining manner. The narrative lapsed at one point and too many scenes that were dedicated to make the reader sympathize with Faith Green.

Nevertheless, Faith Green is a character that yearns to have her voice heard. As a reader she deserved and warranted my sympathy. Not just in fiction, but in the narrative of life. Maybe then, the actions that occur in the novel can be prevented from becoming a true crime reality.

What did you like about the book?
I liked that the author wrote about a subject matter that is both relevant and entertaining.

What did you dislike about the book?
There was a time lapse at some point that jolted my reading.

What could the author do to improve the book?
Not much. A few scenes can could have been deleted to make a tighter story.


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