Sunday, September 6, 2009

Murder On The Down Low by Pamela Samuels Young

Goldman House Publishing September 2008
Reviewer: Toni Mac
Rating: 5

Los Angeles attorney Pamela Samuels Young has given the staring role in her legal thrillers to attorney Vernetta Henderson. Vernetta returns in “Murder on the Down Low.” It opens with the murder of Quentin Banks, a prominent African American doctor. His shooting death was not the first and it certainly won’t be the last as there appears to be a serial killer on the loose.

Vernetta’s best friend Special is up to her usual antics. But this time her attention is focused on Eugene Nelson, fiance to her late cousin. Her cousin, Maya, died from AIDS, given to her by Eugene as a result of his being on the down low. However, this time, Special may be in over her head.

In “Murder on the Down Low,” Pamela Samuels Young shines a spotlight on the epidemic of HIV/AIDS in the African American community. Samuels Young adds suspense, drama and deceit as her tale takes readers from one surprise to the next. It’s not a book to be read lightly, as it has some powerful messages. For example, African American and Latina women in the U.S. account for more than 80% of the total AIDS diagnoses for women, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. That’s alarming and part of the reason why “Murder on the Down Low” is worth reading. The other reason is because Samuels Young knows how to deliver.