The Bridge
Solomon Jones
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Buy *The Bridge: A Novel* online

The Bridge: A Novel

Solomon Jones
St. Martin's Minotaur
320 pages
June 2003
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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The Bridge is explosive, deep, dark and gripping. Solomon Jones, author of the critically acclaimed Pipe Dream, is an impressive writer with unique style, flair and a real voice. The Philadelphia native writes about his own backyard, capturing the horrors that plague the graphically poor.

"The Bridge" is a slang name for a section of Philadelphia ghetto during a time when crack is the choice drug. Kenya Brown is one of many little girls unfortunate enough to have to grow up in such an environment. She lives with her grandmother, Judy, and her boyfriend, Sonny. Kenya's mother, a recovering addict, lost custody long ago.

The custodians are no saints. Judy and Sonny deal feverishly out of their apartment in a shoddy tenement complex. The basic desire is to make enough to leave The Bridge and never have to look back. But how much money is enough? The lingering questions: once you're out, where are you going to go? What are you going to do?

Everything falls apart at the beginning of the story when Kenya disappears. Her mother calls Kevin Lynch, an old friend from the neighborhood. Detective Lynch must bury the feelings he harbors against this woman and focus his efforts on finding the missing child.

When Sonny becomes the prime suspect, a high-speed chase lands a bystander in the hospital in critical condition. The bystander happens to be a popular judge, and suddenly the media is all over the crimes not because a little girl is missing, but because a judge might die.

Pressure crushes Lynch as he works to unearth truths that have been buried since his childhood. Secrets and lies confront him in every nook and cranny. It is up to him to make sense of it all -- that is, if he can get past the politics and concentrate on what is most important: saving the life of an innocent child.

Solomon Jones holds nothing back. He tells it like it is. The Bridge is engrossing, vintage-style noir with a more modern tale. Drugs, addicts, police and politics -- you can't ask for a better-told story, or a more enlightening look into the darker side of truths.

© 2003 by Phillip Tomasso III for Curled Up With a Good Book

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