Book Review – Hands Up

Hello fellow book lovers!

I hope October is treating you well. I am currently sat in a huge cottage on the edge of Devon having a week away with my family. Whilst the weather may not be amazing we are certainly not letting that bring our spirits down. Anyone who holidays in the UK will know you can not rely on the weather. Anyway, just over a month ago I was contacted directly by Stephen Clark to review his latest book. I was really chuffed to be contacted directly rather than going through the usual NetGalley means. Having just finished this book today I wanted to get my review out there asap.


Officer Ryan Quinn, a rookie raised in a family of cops, is on the fast track to detective until he shoots an unarmed black male. Now, with his career, reputation and freedom on the line, he embarks on a quest for redemption that forces him to confront his fears and biases and choose between conscience or silence.

Jade Wakefield is an emotionally damaged college student living in one of Philadelphia’s worst neighborhoods. She knows the chances of getting an indictment against the cop who killed her brother are slim. When she learns there’s more to the story than the official police account, Jade is determined, even desperate, to find out what really happened. She plans to get revenge by any means necessary.

Kelly Randolph, who returns to Philadelphia broke and broken after abandoning his family ten years earlier, seeks forgiveness while mourning the death of his son. But after he’s thrust into the spotlight as the face of the protest movement, his disavowed criminal past resurfaces and threatens to derail the family’s pursuit of justice.

Ryan, Jade, and Kelly–three people from different worlds—are on a collision course after the shooting, as their lives interconnect and then spiral into chaos.

When I read the synopsis I knew that I would like this book but in fact I actually love it. Told from the three perspectives of the main characters this story is more than just a white cop shooting a black male. It starts off with this simple story line but develops into something much more complicated and layered.

At the heart of this story is the topic of racism and whilst the author could of let this develop in a stereotypical way he actually gives a different point of view. Are some people just racist because of assumptions? Do we taint everyone with the same brush based on one bad experience?

I liked how Ryan tried to fix his own bias and make positive changes to make his life better. I actually felt sorry for him in the end despite the fact that he had killed someone.

With an explosive ending this is a story not to be missed. I am very excited to see what comes next from Stephen Clark and so this one gets 5*’s from me. Thank you to Stephen for contacting me and giving me the pleasure of reading your book.



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