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Friday, February 28, 2014

The Philadelphia Quarry by Howard Owen

The Philadelphia Quarry by Howard Owen is about the reversal of a rape case. A black man, Richard Slade, was given life for the rape of a white woman, Alicia Simpson, in 1984. Willie Black, a reporter, is on the case from the beginning and is back at it. I have to say that his dialogue sounds a lot like listening to Bob Newhart, classic dry wit and delivery. Black cracks me up at times. Slade was exonerated twenty-eight years later by Mr. DNA. The Philadelphia Quarry is the place of the incident, a swimming hole in the Richmond, Virginia area. I was immediately reminded of the infamous rape of the jogger in Central Park in 1989 and how those boys were railroaded and castigated by Mayor Koch and the city only to be exonerated by Mr. DNA. So why does it take so long to get rid of our racism and search and frisk laws?
Here we go into troubled waters. Alicia Simpson has been murdered and Richard goes back to jail. What we have is the American version of Upstairs downstairs, black and white in Richmond, Virginia. Dysfunction is a kind word for one family while love and family are the way of the other. Willie pinballs his way to the truth. Willie is a great character, I hope to see more of him.

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