Title: Hands Up
Author: Stephen Clark (complimentary copy received from the author)
Genre: Crime fiction
# of pages: 272
Date of publication: 28th Sept 2019
One mistake can change the course of life; for everyone involved in the mistake, forever
Hands up is a tale of fear, guilt and remorse. Hands up is serious, it’s an attempt to show as a society we need to be more empathetic.
3 people narrate their story from three different background united by one incident.
Ryan Quinn, a rookie cop involved in the shooting of a teenager.
Jade Wakefield, a college girl. She is emotionally repressed and is devastated by her brother’s death.
Kelly Randolph, an ex-gang member, now homeless. He is looking for redemption from his family.
They narrate their stories but each one of them has their painful past, fear and helplessness. Three people are linked not by the shooting incident alone. But also, how their life was until that stage. The narrative is strong, yet simple. It brings out the genuine pain and emotions of people.
The author’s writing is captivating and gripping and keeps you engaged. Each of the characters is well depicted and they grow with the story. Ryan, Jade and Kelly are the major characters. There are other characters as well. Some are supportive (pivotal in some sense), some of them leave the act once they fulfil their role.
The central theme is about society’s prejudice and fears. The emotions which make us human are fluid. They change with time. Emotions don’t have logic and that’s why we can never judge people on a scale of right or wrong. The book yields an insight into pain arising from stereotyping.
The writer has done research and builds the story with the right tempo. And a pace that keeps the reader intrigued.
The closing was real to life and thrilling.
The book has all the elements of 5 stars. There is just one thing that bothered me was the insertion of romance. It was a distraction in the enticing story. But the flaw was minuscule compared to the bold storyline.
Hands up by Stephen Clark deserves hands down 4 stars. I, highly recommend this book. It’s a book depicting our present times where people decide based on their prejudices.