Skip to main content

Book Review: Murder on the Down Low by Pamela Samuels Young

African-American men are being killed in L.A. These men are prominent family men, but soon detective J.C. learns that they were all on the "down low," meaning they were married to or dating women but meeting men on the side. She knows about men on the down low because her friend, Maya, just died from AIDS, which she contracted from her fiancee who they discovered was on the down low himself. Now Maya's cousin Special is out for revenge, and her friends J.C., Vernetta and Nichele are helping her out. But soon Special needs a lot more help than they had expected when the police start considering her a suspect in all of these murders.

Murder on the Down Low by Pamela Samuels Young is a quick-paced crime novel, but I have to admit that for the first third of this book, I was very angry and annoyed. The storyline during this time suggests that women almost exclusively contract HIV by having sex with men who have had sex with other men. As someone who used to work for an AIDS organization, and who knew many people who had contracted the disease in many other ways, I was extremely frustrated with the characters in this book ~ and quite honestly, the author, since I was worried this was going to be the theme running throughout the entire book.

However, Pamela Samuels Young redeemed herself later in the book and I'm glad that I didn't give up on it ~ as I had considered doing. The story itself is suspenseful and included enough twists and turns to make me want to keep going to see what was going to happen and who was really killing these men. I had my suspicions but was never sure of the killer until that person was revealed.

If you enjoy crime novels, and can get past the flaws and prejudice of some of the characters, I'd recommend this one. It's also about friendship and trust within relationships, as well as how different people deal with the loss of a loved one.

My Rating: 3/5

This review was written based on a copy of Murder on the Down Low that I received from Pump Up Your Book in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I fought with this one but because it was a real crisis in the African American community in some States I let it pass.

    Buying Time by the author was great, I would recommend that one.


Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Popular posts from this blog

Getting back to blogging

It seems that blogging has dropped to the bottom of my list for the past year, and was pretty low for the year or two prior to that. I love to read, and am continuing to do so, but as my regular readers know I haven't been around much. My last blog post was almost a year ago!!

There are many things that have taken me away from blogging. Work has been much more challenging and interesting these past few years, but that means I really don't want to get back on the computer when I get home at night - or on the weekends.

Family life has been more busy with kids having multiple activities in the evenings, leaving little time to just hang out and write about the books that I read.

I will admit to a bit of a Facebook addiction, which means way too much time spent scrolling through my newsfeed instead of doing something more productive. This is one of the things I'm working on and hoping that this will free up some time for getting back to the blog.

Overall, life is good. Work is …

April Reading Review

Where exactly did April go? I swear it was just the middle of March and now it's May. Once again, I'm going to provide a quick review of each of the books I read last month. For the last two weeks of the month, I participated in the Spring Into Horror Readathon hosted by Michelle at Seasons of Reading. The only rule was that you had to read at least one book that was horror, thriller, etc. I read one book that qualified. With the exception of the first book in my list, the books I mention below were read during the readathon

My book club's May selection was Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. I had started reading this nonfiction book about the author's work representing men, women and children who were on death row in March but finished the book in April. This is an eye-opening story that everyone at my book club discussion agreed should be required reading for law schools and police officers and even legislators who are making the laws related to judgements. I learned to…

Banned Books Week: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park

This is the end of Banned Books Week and unfortunately, I haven't had a lot of time to write about banned books this year. But I did want to include at least one post about it, so today I wanted to share one of the book series that it seems most people are surprised to find on the list: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park.

According to Wikipedia:
The Junie B. Jones series came in at #71 on the American Library Association's list of the Top 100 Banned or Challenged Books from 2000-2009. Reasons cited are poor social values taught by the books and Junie B. Jones not being considered a good role model due to her mouthiness and bad spelling/grammar. This is an interesting example of a banned book. Many times there are serious, controversial topics featured in books that are challenged. Things like homosexuality, drugs, vulgar language, etc. You can actually understand why people may not want their children to read those books, and why they may challenge their inclusion in school libra…