Monday, May 28, 2018

Book Review: 'Wake Me When It's Over' by Cheryl A. Head

‘Charlie had tilted her head, manipulating in her mind imaginary Post-it notes on an imaginary white board – her technique for solving puzzles.
Washington DC author Cheryl A. Head has stated that her career as a writer, television producer, filmmaker, broadcast executive, and media funder has taken me to every continent except Antarctica and Australia. I'm an ardent observer and listener, always trying to connect the dots, and now is the time to marry my experiences with the craft of writing, and the art of storytelling. Much of what I write focuses on the themes of diversity (in its broadest sense), acculturation and tolerance. Sometimes with a bit of danger and always with a lot of humor, food and music. I've written (the highly awarded) ‘Long Way Home: A World War II Novel’, short stories about families and other relationships and I've completed the first installment of a detective series called The Charlie Mack Mysteries – ‘Bury Me When I’m Dead’ - which brings lesbian private investigator, Charlene Mack to life as she grapples with her sexuality, solves a missing-person case, and cares for her mother with early onset Alzheimer's.’ Now following the success of her first two novels, Cheryl brings us the further adventures of Charlie Mack in WAKE ME WHEN IT’S OVER.

Originally from Detroit, Cheryl has an affinity for the flavor and history of Motown and she uses that very well in this second installment of her Charlie Mack Motown Mystery series. Thee first book - BURY ME WEN IT’S OVER – was a Lambda Literary Award finalist and was included in the 2017 Detroit Public Library’s African American Book List. Bets are on that this second installment will equal if not up the ante for awards. Cheryl writes with great skill and has that ability to relate quality mystery with hefty dollops of humor that make the book ring to the last words.

When Charlie and her team are asked by the Detroit Auto Association (DADA) to take on a seemingly impossible task – to identify and thwart an attack on the largest auto show in the world, Mack, and her team of investigators go into high gear. Much is at stake, including DADA’s reputation, the hundreds of millions of dollars the event infuses in the local economy, and then there’s the Super Bowl XL which Detroit will host the following month. With only nine days before thousands of journalists converge on Cobo it seems a daunting endeavor. But Mack, a smart operative in the city’s stew of political leadership, business influencers, and social power brokers, takes on the job, convinced by the promise of a $100K payoff, and the below-the-radar help of Homeland Security. The Mack team slowly begins to unravel a twisted plot that runs through several countries and even more bank accounts. But finding out who’s behind the deadly plan only solves half the problem, because Charlie is drawn into an intense game of cat-and-mouse to locate dozens of hidden bombs in Cobo Hall before they can be detonated.

That is the plot outline, but the pleasure of Cheryl’s book is immersing yourself in the fever-pitch drama she writes with such finesse. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, May 18
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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