Freedomland

by Richard Price

Reviewed by Coral


When Brenda Martin ends up in a Dempsey ER, she's dazed, with a gash on the back of her head and bloody, cut up hands. Police detective Lorenzo Council gets the case. He eventually manages to get her story - she was carjacked as she was driving around looking for a shortcut home. To his surprise, she also tells him that her four-year-old son Cody was asleep in the back seat.

Dempsey is already on the edge as racial tensions mount. The last thing they need is for a white women claiming that her son was taken by a black carjacker, especially as her brother is a detective for the neighboring Gannon police.

Now, with Gannon police swarming over Dempsey, tearing it apart to find Cody, it is left up to Lorenzo to win Brenda's trust and solve the case before Dempsey boils over.

This is another book I picked up because I was curious about - but never saw - it's movie. When will I learn?

I thought the premise of the book sounded a little familiar and I knew I would be disappointed if it ended how I expected it to end. And, yeah, disappointed.

Maybe it was because I was expecting the ending, but I didn't feel for Brenda at all.

Additionally, I didn't like the journalist character, Jesse. I don't think she or her brother added much to the story. I resented and, at some times, hated her attitude to Karen, leader of a search-and-rescue group. Karen's group, at least, served the plot and helped solve the case. Jesse was pointless.

The book kind of felt like it detoured needlessly at some points. It felt like it was too long for no real reason.

I also wish that the author would have done more than hint at a more sinister motive for everything. In my head, I definitely buy the darker explanation. That's what I'm going with. Although it still doesn't make the book enjoyable.

Grade: F