Thursday, March 10, 2011

YOUNG JUNIUS by Seth Harwood

Seth Harwood's second novel, published last October by Tyrus Books, covers a single life-changing day in the life of 6'2" fourteen-year-old Junius Posey. Determined to avenge his older brother Temple's death, Junius makes his way to visit a woman in the Rindge Towers who supposedly knows who killed Temple.

Like many of his fans, I discovered Seth Harwood's writing via his CrimeWAV podcast, writing that engages you in just a page or two and tempts you to turn off the computer, unplug the phone, and be immersed in the world he's creating. I didn't have a day to do that and imagine the events in the timeframe set. However, though I read the book in pieces, I still felt its smaller character moments.

I'm most impressed with Harwood's balancing truth and fiction. His depiction of drug-related violence in 1987 rings starkly true, yet Junius's quest for the truth is inevitably sidetracked by a lie. Though driven by the lie, the steps Junius takes into manhood are genuine. Highly recommended.

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