Title: Smoke Screen
Author: Monique D. Mensah
Headline: Maneater is on the Prowl
In Smoke Screen, Monique Mensah reintroduces us to a trio of ladies from her first novel, Who Is He To You. It is ten years later but Simone, Ryan, and Lauren are still connected to one another. A female serial killer is on the loose and the media has named her the “Maneater and any one of the main characters could be her.
Simone is a sexual abuse survivor and is currently working with young girls who have gone through the same experience as her. Ryan, who was a pedophile’s mistress ten years ago is now married and desperately wants a baby even though her husband does not. Lauren is now a very successful lawyer who is carrying on an inappropriate relationship. All of these ladies have a motive and means to be the serial killer, but which one is it?
Monique Mensah does an excellent job of character development so if you have not read her previous works, you will not be lost. She continues to explore the often ignored world of mental health and keeps it suspenseful. The very last page of Smoke Screen has me excited to see what Monique Mensah has in store for us when Nemesis is released in June 2012.
Title: Inside Rain
Author: Monique Mensah
Headline: Slow Moving
“Inside Rain” by Monique Mensah takes us deep into the mind of spoken word artist, Rain. Rain is under the care of her grandmother because as a child she witnessed the brutal murder of her mother. Danny and Carmen are Rain’s siblings and they hold a grudge since she seems to be their grandmother’s favorite.
“Inside Rain” is a slow moving book until a man that Carmen begins to date seems familiar to Rain. Mensah spends the majority of the book developing each character and it reaches the point where the storyline is quite predictable. It was a struggle to get there but “Inside Rain” was saved by Mensah’s unpredictable ending.
Title: Running from Solace
Author: Nakia Laushaul
Headline: Heartbreaking but Powerful!
As a young girl, Naomi has a life that none of us would like to experience. Her mother is a drug addict who often “lends” Naomi to her dealers to supply her habit. Even if you are not a child of abuse and/or neglect, the young girl’s pain can be understood as Nakia Laushaul’s writing technique pulls you in and forces you to feel as in your Naomi’s shoes. As an adult, Naomi’s demons still seem to haunt her and she is forced to face them when she meets a young boy by the name of Xavier. Will Naomi continue to run or will she finally find solace?
I kept hearing about this book, Running from Solace and I wanted to see for myself if it would live up to the hype. To say that it lived up to the hype would be a huge understatement because it is very rare that within one book I feel the range of emotions as I did while reading Nakia Laushaul’s words. I was literally drained at various times from being upset, disgusted, sad, gratified, and then feeling joy. Any book that can make you genuinely feel this wide range of emotions sets itself apart from others that are currently on the market. Running from Solace is Nakia Laushaul’s debut novel but I am confident in saying that she will become a force within the literary world.