T.J. English has written, quite possibly, the most compelling historical fictional of the year. The only catch is that it all really happened.
With the story telling-style that could rival any bestseller fiction author currently battling it out on the sales charts right now, English uses a reporter’s eye to pull in the most fantastical and interesting details of a racially-charged New York city in the 60’s and 70’s in laying out The Savage City.
The book centers on corrupt cops, the rise of the Black Panther Party, and George Whitmore, a young, uneducated black man with no criminal record who was coerced into confessing to everything from rapes and assaults to one of the city’s most high profile murders. Throughout the book, as both the cops and Black Panthers rise and fall, Whitmore observes most of this through prison cells as he fights to finally clear his name.
Everyone from Martin Luther King and Malcolm X to Serpico and Huey P. Newton have cameos throughout the book, as English deftly describes the tension boiling over in the city, with plenty of responsibility to go around. Hard to put down, the nearly 500 pages fly by thanks to English’s knack for compelling story telling.
The Savage City by T.J. English/Hardcover/496 pages/William Morrow