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Night Work - Trouble Man

Night Work : A Novel by Nelson George ~ Dark-skinned chocolate, sexy and smooth, Night earns his keep by pleasuring rich white women around New York City. But he's grown weary of this seedy, criminal life. If he could just get someone to sign him to a record deal, he'd willingly say good-bye forever to the emotionless sex that is slowly numbing his soul.
Just when his dream of becoming an R&B vocalist is about to be realized, Beth Ann, a beautiful supermodel deep in debt to a dangerous drug ring, begs Night to help her move a large quantity of Ecstasy. He reluctantly agrees, but the good deed sinks him deeper into the nightlife he's been trying so desperately to escape. It also puts him on the radar of the NYPD, and when one of Night's clients is found murdered the cops are quick to add it all up against him. Now Night must fight the fallout of his past and try to forge a path back to his future, before it takes off without him.
A stunning portrait of the unholy intersection of New York's sexual underground and the entertainment business, this gripping novel will appeal to fans of Chester Himes, Donald Goines, and other noir masters.
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Trouble Man by Travis Hunter ~ Colorful characters from Hunter's previous two novels (The Hearts of Men; Married But Still Looking) return in this earnest, well-intentioned exploration of the complexities of the urban African-American male experience. Marijuana dealer Jermaine Banks is nearing 30, and while he doesn't see anything wrong with his job ("he felt like he was doing Philadelphians a favor by providing a natural herb that helped folks calm the hell down"), his pregnant girlfriend and her policeman father want him to clean up and become a decent role model for his three-year-old son, Khalil, and his unborn child. Meanwhile, across town, 51-year-old Calvin Sharpe, a shady real estate magnate, asks his wife, Robin, for a divorce so he can marry his white trophy mistress; Robin promptly informs their 15-year-old son, C.J., who has polycystic disease, that Calvin also abandoned another son-Jermaine. When Jermaine's best friend is gunned down by a rival drug gang, Jermaine knows the law of the street demands that he retaliate. Several more twists follow: Jermaine discovers that Khalil's mom is a lesbian; C.J.'s kidneys fail him; and Jermaine's uncle Herb, a heroin addict just out of prison, steals $30,000 of Jermaine's pot proceeds. All of these complications strengthen Jermaine's resolve to find a decent job and get Khalil out of the ghetto. Despite the book's somewhat clumsy prose, prosaic plots and Pollyanna resolutions, motivational speaker Hunter tells a readable tale with an uplifting message.
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