(Life Changing Books)
4 out of 5 Stars
To say that Marked “starts with a bang” is not a cliche: it’s a the literal truth. Capone is an relentless as his namesake when it comes to serving the glaring truth page after page. Set in the “D”, this Detroit tale of street loyalty, mafia suppliers and survival is so detailed that the line between entertainment and information is blurred. Marked details the fall of Detroit drug family .
Gator is a man who seething with violence and greed as he supplies most of Detroit through his Greek connection. Gator sent his nephew Deluxe to the Marines. Although Deluxe thinks the military was Gator’s way of providing refuge from the street life, the opposite is true. Deluxe’s skill as a military-trained sniper is quickly put to use. Caught between guilt and loyalty, Deluxe constantly battles between what he wants to do and what he has to do.
Deluxe also wants to find his father’s killer. Rock is Deluxe’s father and Gator’s big brother. His death is a mystery, and the hood’s no-snitch rule is in full effect. Gator’s right-hand man, Myth, is loyal but his importance is overlooked. Nevertheless, he makes the moves necessary so that Gator can maintain a tight grip on Detroit’s drug trade. Although Gator keeps the family strictly Detroit, Myth’s status allows him to bring in his cousin from New York, Kane. In this kill-or-be-killed lifestyle, everyone is marked for death one way or another.
Capone is an author who is able to serve what makes the streets harsh and beautiful with the same intensity. From the different neighborhoods to the crooked cops to the good girls gone bad to the outside influences on the hood, Marked has all the elements of inner-cities across the nation. Those elements are also common with Urban Lit titles. Capone’s Detroit upbringing and vivid imagination takes the aforementioned elements and twists them into a perfect knot. Marked shows the reader exactly why nothing and nobody can be trusted in the hood.
When I first looked at the book cover, I wasn’t too impressed. This was especially true since it was published by Life Changing Books, whose book covers almost always features some seductive eye candy. After reading Marked, I would have felt an under-dressed woman would have done this book a disservice. Although there were sex scenes in Marked, they were well-placed and did not take away from the main focus of the plot. In taking a more probing look at the book cover, I felt that it symbolized the amount of greed and corruption inherent in street life that many outsiders can not easily see. You really have to look into the letters of Marked on the book cover, as if you are an outside. You can’t just a book by it’s cover, but once you start on that first page…
While I was reading Marked, I envisioned actors Gary Anthony Sturgis as Gator and Nate Parker as Deluxe. My conflict with Marked as a reader was Gator. He stole the show. I think Capone’s intentions were for Deluxe to be the main character. Naturally, I wanted to emotionally attach myself to Deluxe because he was the good guy in a bad situation. Gator’s intensity, one-liners, his lack of control and mindset out-shined almost everything any of the other characters did. If Gator was written any differently, Marked would have been missing an important and thoroughly entertaining component.
Capone’s Marked is a well-crafted debut novel where he paints a ruthless dog-eat-dog picture of Detroit’s underworld where death is always around the corner. There isn’t much room for a sequel because of the plot twists and the surprise ending, but I’m sure Capone’s next literary offering will be progressively better as her grows as a writer.
Reviewed by Joey Pinkney dot com
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