Jewell and The Dapper Dan

June 5, 2012 

When I first encountered Keith Thomas Walker at the 2012 Romance Slam Jam I was curious about all the buzz surrounding him.  Having now read only one of his 7 books with two more due out this year it’s all been made clear.  Keith Thomas Walker is a rare writer with a remarkable talent.  Jewell and The Dapper Dan could be described as a modern day Bonnie and Clyde with a Black ghetto twist.  It’s a tale chocked with romantic intrigue and gripping suspense woven through a riveting plot.  The titled characters Jewell and her Dapper Dan are so skillfully drawn they jump off the page.  In a setting where violence is a matter of fact first response the in your face blatantly aggressive and provocative behavior is real and unsettling.  With few admirable qualities the dynamic duo are exquisitely sensuous and titillating.  Keith Thomas Walker has done an exceptional job creating real believable–even lovable–characters.

Jewell is a gangster moll with a conscience, compassion and empathy, but beware she can flip in a spilt second.  She’s able to care for her ailing mother and won’t hesitate to smack a poorly performing nurse.  Jewell’s attempt to aide her recovering addict brother by bringing him into the syndicate backfires doing him more harm than good.  Her disdain for her overly pious sister devoted to her children and her near do well deacon-husband seems all too real.  Jewell is at times loyal to a fault but a chameleon able to rise to just about any occasion assuming any role in any circumstance.  Her striking good looks and figure cause men drunk with desire to fall prey and defenseless.

Dapper Dan is a hardened, cold focused and skilled criminal who regards himself as a genius.  He rises from a pimp to an accomplished syndicate boss racking up one successful robbery after another all due to his brilliant planning.  He plans a final job a huge diamond heist that will end his criminal career enabling the couple to settle down to a normal family life.  Despite the obstacles and the gang’s resistance he pushes them forward undeterred with his eye on the prize believing in his own genius.  But trust becomes an issue and who can you trust?  Our gangsters prove the old adage there is no honor among thieves.

Dapper Dan’s blinded by greed and vanity leading his gang of thieves at a time when their allegiance is worn by his questionable judgment influenced by Jewell’s love.  In the end the lesson is crime doesn’t pay–at least not for the crime boss.  There are a host of minor characters the reader will find compelling particularly the furniture magnate Percy Hamilton and his gold digging houchies who prove no match for Jewell.

Keith Thomas Walker writes with a rare authenticity.  Jewell and The Dapper Dan deserves nothing less than 5 stars.

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