Say Nice Things About Detroit

  • Review
By – April 23, 2012

Divorced and bereft over the death of his young son, lawyer David Halpert pil­grim­ages to his Detroit sub­urb to care for his ail­ing par­ents. Then he sees it splashed across the front page of the local paper: his high school girl­friend and her black half-broth­er have been gunned down in the city, one of America’s most noto­ri­ous. He soon recon­nects with their griev­ing sis­ter, Car­olyn, and the two bond over love lost while decod­ing the web of hatred and prej­u­dice moti­vat­ing the mur­ders.

In prose as sparse as the streets of the mod­ern Motor City, Say Nice Things About Detroit cap­tures the hope­less­ness and deter­mi­na­tion under­pin­ning a blight­ed city unrav­eled by racism. Heavy on Detroit geog­ra­phy and hotspots, this nov­el is a treat for Detroi­ters who will rec­og­nize the socioe­co­nom­ic divide along Eight Mile as the real tragedy in a city besieged by racial ten­sion. For read­ers watch­ing Detroit from afar, native Lass­er adept­ly por­trays the con­flict that threat­ens to bank­rupt the city.

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