- Title: The Night
- Author: Matthew Murphy
- # of pages: 270
- Publisher: EMSA Publishing
- Released: February 14, 2018
- Genre(s): Crime Thriller, Historical fiction
- My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
* I received my copy of this book from the author.
* All opinions are my own.
When Clive Baxter returns home from World War II, he expects to settle into a quiet life far from the battlefields of Europe. Instead, he finds himself on the south side of Chicago in the neighborhood of Brownsville where everything is not as it seems.
A small neighborhood surrounding a meat processing plant, Brownsville is a wartime centerpiece for African-American migration north drawing in hundreds of people with the promise of work, housing, and a safe community.
As Clive soon learns, Brownsville is controlled by a mobster known only as the Landlord. But when Clive crosses the Landlord, he is framed for a murder, and forced to go underground to clear his name. Taking on the persona of the Night, hiding in the shadows, Clive disguises himself in a bid to take the Landlord down, he soon discovers he is not alone in this quest.
Matthew Murphy contacted me about reviewing The Night after the book’s release, and considering my love of historical fiction I accepted the request. It took me almost a week to read this book, which is a long time for me. I liked the stories premise, but I found myself wanting details that were never given.
Mr. Murphy does a great job of creating and describing Clive’s mentally, but never tells you what Clive looks like physically. In fact, very few characters have physical descriptions other than to specify if they are black, white or Asian. Sure, it’s okay to leave out some details so the reader’s imagination can wander but when you don’t give descriptions of characters your depriving the readers of key information. The fact that Mr. Murphy seemed to actively avoid physical descriptions made it harder for me to connect to the characters.
Mr. Murphy do a great job of deminstrating the inequalities between blacks and whites in 1940’s America throughout the book in multiple ways. Once this I saw theme show up I wondered whether the lack of descriptive details throughout the book was due to a limited knowledge of African-American culture (and mentality), or out of fear of offending people because the author is caucasion.
As I said earlier, I enjoyed the plot. The progression of events moved in a way that I felt was believeable. I definately thought Clive’s mental transformation as he learned what civilian life could mean was well written.
So, when I compare the good and bad I come to the conculsion that as a whole I liked the book and I would recommend The Night by Matthew Murphy to other readers.