By Vern E. Smith
Rosarium Publishing, $15.95, 214 pages
Vern E. Smith’s The Jones Men: Special 40th Anniversary Edition opens in Detroit in the 1970s. The streets are dark and dangerous and it is best to leave your valuables at home and your car locked. The neighborhoods are tough. Main character Lennie Jack is just trying to make a buck and leave his mark on society. Unfortunately, luck doesn’t always show its face to Lennie.
Smith is excellent at using details to draw readers into his story. There are a lot of cars in the book. Readers should be prepared to either brush up on car knowledge or learn new makes and models of cars. The more detailed, the better. And these details will make the story come alive.
The dialogue is face paced and the characters have questionable morals. As you are reading you may realize that this story seems familiar. In fact, The Jones Men influenced movies and shows including The Wire. I was surprised that I liked the book as much as I did and I think other readers will enjoy it too!
Reviewed by Annie Hicks