3 out of 4 stars
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“The World Meeting of Families, a gathering of the Roman Catholic Church, convenes every three years. In 2015 Philadelphia was the site selected for the meeting. Over 18 thousand delegates had registered to participate and several hundred thousand, perhaps as many as one million, pilgrims and visitors from all over the world were anticipated to attend the conferences and programs during the seven-day meeting. The meeting was the culmination of Pope Francis’ first visit to the United States.”
Goldstein, Neal. 60th & Haverford (Kindle Locations 15-20).
60th & Haverford by Neal Goldstein is probably named so because of its what the intersection of the two means for Philadelphia. Despite the repeated calls of the police in that area, the corner’s gang do what they want. One day, following a strange incident, veteran detective Frank Benson is assigned to the investigation. As Philadelphia eagerly awaits the visit of Pope Francis, there is a temporary drain on the police force’s manpower. The investigation helps the detective take a deeper look into the drug culture of a young and bitter America, and the corruption of the police.
Neal Goldstein was born and brought up in Philadelphia. He now resides with his wife in Haverford, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Temple University and Temple University School of Law and currently practices law in Philadelphia representing labor unions and employee benefit plans. He also authored Murder and Mayhem in Manyunk, Fishtown and Northern Liberties, (the Jack Regan/Izzy Ichowitz trilogy) and The Pa-la-ti-‘shan (Politician).
This particular work by the author is a seminal text that uses crime to look at culture and decay in a larger sense. The author talks about the authentic American experience, good or bad, and he talks about what happens to this experience under the weight of crime and drugs. It helps the author make a social commentary in a sense, and despite its limited projection of society, it offers a broad perspective of what a particular society can possibly become if it falls prey to its own weaknesses.
The plot of this story was quite interesting. There were hardly any loopholes. While I found the ending a bit problematic, the rest of the story was quite well-wrought. Of the characters, I felt the there was a bit of flattening of them that made me lose interest very early on because any story that reaches out to tell a “single story” falls on a grander scale, in my opinion. I felt that the characters were more like caricatures of what they were demographically expected to be, which made it a little disappointing for me since the story itself was quite good.
The writing style of the author was raw and refined at the same time. There were no errors (from my analysis) in the text. I love how the author has attributed a certain style of speaking to the police, something we already associate with them. This made the quite book realistic. Overall, I rate the book 3 out of 4 stars. I strongly suggest it to adult readers who love crime and mystery novels.
60th & Haverford
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