Hands Up by Stephen Clark Book Review

Book Description (via Goodreads): 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 neighbourhoods. 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.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I have given Hands Up by Stephen Clark four out of five stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Trigger Warnings: self harm and strong language

Right from the first passage I was completely hooked! I mean, how can you not be intrigued after the introduction to this book is:

“I’m not a murderer. I’m not a murderer. I’m. Not. A. Murderer. Oh, who was I kidding? No matter how many tines or ways I said that to myself in the bathroom mirror, it didn’t change the fact that I had just killed someone.”

This book covers a very important topic which addresses police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement. I thought it was incredibly gripping and heart-wrenching, especially for those who have suffered through the hard times of innocent cases such as the example we are given from this story. The loss and heartache to hear what families go through is absolutely awful and to think that this happens in our world is unbelievable.

Written from three character’s points of views: Ryan – the rookie police officer, Jade – the sister of the murdered innocent victim and Kelly – Jade’s troubled, ex-criminal father. I love when a book is has multiple POVs as it makes the book so much more interesting to look at different perspectives.

I wasn’t a massive fan of the love interest which takes place in this story as I thought it was too much of a coincidence and their storyline felt quite rushed. Apart from this, I really enjoyed this book and thought it was a very good paced and well-written novel.

I would definitely recommend this book to fans of crime stories but also it would be a great book to discuss between a book club/group as the subject matter is very important and would definitely spark up a conversation.

Have you read Hands Up by Stephen Clark? If so, what did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading,

Claire 📚

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