Synopses & Reviews
The celebrated author of Clockers delivers his most compelling and accomplished novel to date.
A white woman, her hands gashed and bloody, stumbles into an inner-city emergency room and announces that she has just been carjacked by a black man. But then comes the horrifying twist: Her young son was asleep in the back seat, and he has now disappeared into the night.
So begins Richard Price's electrifying new novel, a tale set on the same turf--Dempsey, New Jersey--as Clockers. Assigned to investigate the case of Brenda Martin's missing child is detective Lorenzo Council, a local son of the very housing project targeted as the scene of the crime. Under a white-hot media glare, Lorenzo launches an all-out search for the abducted boy, even as he quietly explores a different possibility: Does Brenda Martin know a lot more about her son's disappearance than she's admitting?
Right behind Lorenzo is Jesse Haus, an ambitious young reporter from the city's evening paper. Almost immediately, Jesse suspects Brenda of hiding something. Relentlessly, she works her way into the distraught mother's fragile world, befriending her even as she looks for the chance to break the biggest story of her career.
As the search for the alleged carjacker intensifies, so does the simmering racial tension between Dempsey and its mostly white neighbor, Gannon. And when the Gannon police arrest a black man from Dempsey and declare him a suspect, the animosity between the two cities threatens to boil over into violence. With the media swarming and the mood turning increasingly ugly, Lorenzo must take desperate measures to get to the bottom of Brenda Martin's story.
At once a suspenseful mystery and a brilliant portrait of two cities locked in a death-grip of explosive rage, Freedomland reveals the heart of the urban American experience--dislocated, furious, yearning--as never before. Richard Price has created a vibrant, gut-wrenching masterpiece whose images will remain long after the final, devastating pages.
The critical and commercial success of Clockers established Richard Price as one of the America's most promising novelists. And, with "Darktown", Price is poised to become a superstar. This novel echoes the notorious Susan Smith case with its haunting tale of a carjacking "victim" who may or may not have murdered her own child.
A white woman, her arms broken and bloody, stumbles into an inner-city emergency room with a horrifying story: she has just been pulled from her car and beaten by a black man, who then drove off with her baby son still strapped into the back seat. A frantic search for the boy ensues, and the not-so-latent racial tension between two New Jersey communities threatens to explode. the case is assigned to a tenacious investigator named Lorenzo Counsel who also happens to rive in the projects. To him falls the task of mounting an aggressive hunt for the missing boy, even as he delicately investigates the possibility that the woman is somehow responsible for the disappearance of her child. Also following the case is a tabloid reporter, Jesse, who is looking for her big break, and as soon as she smells the hint of a hoax, she makes it her mission to befriend the fragile mother and thereby land the story of her career.
Set on the same turf as the bestselling Clockers, this will be a blazing, brilliant, and hugely compelling novel about a woman who may or may not have committed the most horrific of all crimes.
About the Author
Richard Price is the author of five previous novels; the most recent, Clockers, was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has also written numerous screenplays, including Sea of Love, Ransom, and The Color of Money, for which he received an Academy Award nomination. His work has appeared in many publications, including the New York Times and Esquire, and he has taught fiction writing at Yale, NYU, and Columbia. He and his family live in Manhattan.