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Richard Price's Samaritan, like his previous novels Freedomland and Clockers, is a crime drama set in the explosive slums of fictional Dempsy, New Jersey. Ray Mitchell, a former TV writer, has returned to his home town to reunite with his estranged teenage daughter, Ruby. Eager to contribute to his beleaguered community, Ray volunteers as a writing teacher at a local high school. When a brutal assault leaves him hospitalised, Nerese Ammons, a nearly retired detective and lost childhood friend of Ray's, investigates. She discovers, however, that while Ray can identify his attacker, he is unwilling to disclose their identity. Anxious to end her career with fireworks, Nerese continues digging, only to find that Ray made several generous donations to poor acquaintances and recently began a romantic relationship with the wife of an established criminal. While the case looks closed, Nerese continues to find evidence of Ray's troubled past and short-sighted altruism, increasing the number of possible assailants and suggesting Ray's complicity in the crime.
Price's narrative, which alternates between Ray's story and Nerese's ongoing investigation, gains momentum as the mystery nears resolution. Samaritan falters, though, in its awkward attempts at timeliness and, more acutely, in its underdevelopment. The selfish, people-pleasing Ray is a multifaceted character, but he fails to inspire sympathy, while the savvy Nerese never escapes two-dimensional limbo. Price brings the streets of Dempsy to life, however, with informed, realistic descriptions and inner-city survivors such as junkie-turned-independent-social-worker White Tom Potenza, who still "couldn't pass a pay phone without flicking the coin return, still stopped dead in his tracks at the sight of salvageable debris". While the plot will keep readers engaged, it's the world into which they're drawn that makes Samaritan a worthwhile visit. --Ross Doll, Amazon.com --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
'Richard Price is the finest writer about contemporary urban America on the planet, and SAMARITAN confirms it. This writer is at the peak of his powers a story so good you never want it to end' Daily Mail 'Absolutely riveting. Samaritan blew my mind' Stephen King 'Powerful Wise The novel is alive because writers like Price are crafting books like SAMARITAN' Time 'A crafty whodunnit and a compelling character study wholly believable and blessed with wire-sharp wit. The Projects are the most affecting character of all, though - life-draining smears across the landscape that bear silent witness to the poverty and despair behind the American dream. One of the books of the year' UncutSee all Product Description
If you like dense slow burners with superb characterisation and dialogue this will be right up your alley,if you like quick crime novels with lots of twists and turns and the main... Read morePublished 2 months ago by gazzam
This in an enjoyable novel with an interesting set of stories around the rather empty main narrative. Read morePublished on 28 Feb. 2013 by Auby
How do you give and how do you receive? This book is about the nature of grace. It demonstrates the inevitably flawed and compromised nature of philanthropy, the many different... Read morePublished on 26 Feb. 2012 by Y