Wrongfully Convicted by Takara M. James is a timely short story and reflection on current events.
Title: Wrongfully Convicted
Author: Takara M. James
Release: May 2021
Genre: Crime Fiction
Korbin D. King has spent the last eight years obtaining his credentials for a life in the Crime Lab. He wants to be on the Cyber Security team and after taking a year off to support his family, he’s decided to get back in the field. The problem is, Korbin is now trapped between the lines of black and blue. With recent deaths all around him and being masked by society because of the color of his skin, he tries to fight the good fight and defend justice. Korbin quickly learns that both sides of justice can’t be manipulated, he’ll have to choose or he’ll end up losing everything.
The plot of this book is unique while also being sadly familiar. The slew of reports of African American men being killed by police is frightening, but this book takes that idea deeper. Not all police officers are Caucasian, so how do Black officers deal with the brutality epidemic? James took this book even one step further than that concept, so prepare for a wild ride.
I liked the characters in this book, Korbin especially. James did a good job developing his character and those close to him. I enjoyed the distinctly different personalities in the book. There was an excellent representation of the Black community. Some people are like Korbin, well-spoken, highly educated, career-minded, and others are more street, using slang, and spending all their time on the basketball court. In our community, we all know people like that and they are all important to the story.
The themes in this book seem pretty obvious. Police brutality and the fall out from an unjust system, but I think James has a hidden Ace up her sleeve. This story also gets into the Black community and shows how this unjust system affects families, friends, and neighborhoods. This story gives a full view of those involved.
I have to admit, the ending left me a little cold. I do like the route that James took, I love that creative spin, and I won’t spoil it, but I read the whole book and I just didn’t like the simplicity of it. I think there was an opportunity to do something big and bold with this method and I didn’t feel it. I could predict how it was going to end once I saw the method that was employed.
Overall, I think this book did an amazing job of putting a spin on what could have been a very familiar and sad story. James treated the subject delicately and the fiction represented facts in a way that made them easy to digest. I think a lot of conversations will come from this book.