Monday, August 23, 2010

#BookReview: Tempted by Trouble - Eric Jerome Dickey

For an author that started out writing from the woman's point of view, Eric Jerome Dickey has certainly evolved. If you've followed his writing career, you'll remember the days when his stories were considered the male answer to Terry McMillan's Waiting to Exhale. They were funny, they were romantic, they were light. I can remember commenting to a fellow reader years ago that he wrote with a woman's voice so well that if I didn't know he was a man, I would have assumed he was a woman.

I've noticed in recent years that he has shied away from romantic lit as a whole and has begun to hide it within darker, sexier novels. Though he started bringing the sexy in 2003's The Other Woman, the first time I noticed him bringing a whole lot of sexy was in 2008's Pleasure. An older relative gave it to me for Christmas and I blushed so much through out it that all I could hope was that she hadn't read it prior to giving it to me.

With the beginning of the Gideon series, 2007's Sleeping with Strangers, Dickey introduced us to the darker, more masculine side of his stories. If I remember correctly, this was really the first time that his lead character was a male. A killer for hire, Gideon is the focus of four books, which is somewhat unusual for the author. He seems to like to utilizing characters for one story and then moving on from them. It would seem that he found his voice within Gideon.

Tempted by Trouble introduces the reader to a new character, Dmytryk Knight. An out of work former executive turned assembly line worker, Dmytryk is struggling to maintain his home, his marriage and his sanity in Detroit. His out of work wife, Cora, has taken to stripping to bring money into the house while Dmytryk picks up odd jobs here and there. A chance encounter in the strip club introduces Dmytryk to a way of life that he never imagined, as the getaway man for a crew of bank robbers.

Dmytryk isn't cut out for the life of a thief, but if it keeps Cora happy, he's willing to do it. When his latest heist goes wrong and Cora disappears, Dmytryk has to decide if this is really the path he wants to continue down. With fast paced writing and several twists and turns, Eric Jerome Dickey has created yet another page turner.

What did you like about this book?
There were quite a few unexpected surprises and I loved that.

What didn't you like about this book?
Dickey never comes out and tells the reader what race Dmytryk is. One could infer from his parents names, as well as his, that his origins are European, but the fact that he was born and raised in Detroit and attended Cass Technical High, a predominantly black school leads you to wonder if he's black. I would suspect that the author wanted to leave it up to the reader to decide. Ultimately it doesn't matter what race Dmytryk is since this isn't a black or white story, but a human story.

What could the author do to improve this book?
Dmytryk is the lead character and so much of the story is built around him. I would have liked more background on the other players though.

Published August 2010

Theme: American Dreaming by Jay-Z

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