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A Review of The Mark by Kiki Swinson

This is the first time I’m reading anything by this author. The synopsis drew me in: Lauren exacting revenge on Matt, her hustler ex-boyfriend who kills her husband and kidnaps her baby because she stole money from him. She then tracks him down from New York to Virginia and when she finds him, he forces her to commit a bank robbery in order to get her baby back. Interesting storyline, but I was sadly disappointed in its execution and resolution.

Nevertheless, I thought it gave readers a good snapshot into the criminal/street life (drugs, bank robberies, and murders). The dialogue was authentic, the actions of Matt’s soldiers (Preech, Kanan and Juice) were realistic including the treatment of women (no respect whatsoever). There were frequent acts of violence some of which I thought was unnecessary.

Overall, this was a fast read. The author did a good job of depicting Matt’s craziness, Lauren’s strength in enduring his vicious actions against her in the quest for getting her child back, Lisa being in an abusive relationship as Matt’s girlfriend, and the naivete of the college students who tried to help Lauren get her baby back.

However, there were too many instances where the author repeated things like Lauren just giving birth a few days ago (as readers we know that), looping scenes (going back and forth to her apartment and the hotel), over-the-top instances of violence (senseless murders), cringe moments of abuse that went on for a while, almost every other page was laced with the b-word, the n-word, etc. Furthermore, the title, The Mark, was not really explored in the novel. All of which took away the potential of a good read.

Rating:  2.5 stars


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