Book Review: Children of the Enemy By D.J. Swykert

Jude St. Onge is a man on the run. He is an addict who has stolen a large cache of drugs from Detroit drug kingpin Mitchell Parson, who is determined to retrieve the drugs and take his revenge on Jude. After the torture slaying of Jude’s wife, and the kidnapping of Jude’s daughter, Angelina, the last thing Mitchell Parson expected to hear when he picked up the phone was: “I have your sons.” Raymond Little, with a murder conviction in his past, and newspaper reporter Ted Rogers have become unusual allies with Jude in an attempt to rescue his daughter. Together they kidnap Parson’s two boys, hoping to secure Angelina’s release. Risks for both hostage-takers skyrocket as the two sides square off, while Detroit Homicide Detectives work the case unaware of all that is at stake in the investigation. Only Ray and Ted can save the endangered children in Children of the Enemy.

I loved this 36 chapter book. It was raw and edgy–the graphic violence, from beginning to end, was instrumental in making this crime story realistic. I enjoyed getting inside the heads of a reporter, a cop, the criminals, innocent family members, and a citizen ready to stand up for his town. Ted (the reporter) wanted a headline that would evoke change and inspiration. He wanted the people of Detroit to make a difference by coming forward whenever they witnessed crimes, instead of looking the other way. Charlie (the detective) was frustrated with his job. He was tired of all the open cases that couldn’t be solved because of lack of witnesses and no evidence. He wanted to convict people, but it wasn’t possible. It was cool watching all these characters’ lives change just because one day Jude decided to steal drugs from Parson.

My favorite lines: 1) But my experience says there is no such thing as bizarre, all bizarre means is you don’t know all the facts. 2) You straighten out money problems doing business, revenge you straighten out with blood. 3) “That’s what thinking gets you. It gives you indecision,” Ted said.

Ray was my favorite character. He reminded me of someone Clint Eastwood would play. I felt bad for him. In his past, he went to prison and his wife left him, taking their child too. When he got out, he didn’t bother looking for them because he felt they deserved better. A part of me wanted Ray to have a happy ending because I think he would’ve made a great grandfather by the way he treated kids. I felt sorry when Jude tried to rob him, but the tables turned when Ray got the best of him. I had mad respect for him throughout the story–he was a cool hero. Finally, someone could give Swallow and Parson a taste of their own medicine.

  • My other favorites were Ethan and Angelina (both children). I liked that they had a naive, innocence quality to them but they were smart enough to know what was going on. I liked that they tried to stand up for themselves the best way they could. And I respected that they acted brave in the threat of danger, especially Angelina. Poor girl–I wanted to give her a hug.

The author had a great talent with plot. He has a fast paced writing style that enhances the action and suspense. Each scene had me sitting on the edge of my seat, anticipating what would happen next, especially when Swallow entered the picture. No character was safe, so I worried about all of the victims. I was sad when Jude died, but I loved that that put Ray in revenge mode. There was headhopping, but it didn’t distract me from the story.

My favorite scenes: 1) when Jude gets killed 2) when Ray kidnaps Parson’s sons 3) when Ray tries to kick Jude’s habit with the Kentucky Strait remedy 4) the ending

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby


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