"Bruthas is a book that I would recommend whole heartedly to adult readers."


Written by J.L. Whitehead

Genre: Mystery, Urban Crime

Book Synopsis

What would you do if you were indirectly responsible for the deaths of several women in your neighborhood? What if a psychopath used your neighborhood as his stalking ground?

This is the story of three brothers: Jai, the successful attorney in one of Philadelphia’s top law firms, Ryan, the IT Professional that is struggling with his sexual identity and Nate, the dealer that has risen to one of the highest ranks in drug distribution ring based in a North Philadelphia neighborhood known as The Block.

A series of murders takes place in The Block, and nothing is being done about it because the women that are being killed are addicted to the product that Nate sells. “Bruthas” deals with family, loyalty, trust, honesty as well as police corruption and murder. Much like the winding streets of Philadelphia, “Bruthas” takes you on a roller coaster ride exploring the depths of addiction to the heights of family love and will keep you guessing until its climatic finale.

Sharon's Rating

Sharon's Review

When I write a review, I first assess what the storyline entails. I'm not talking about a synopsis, I'm talking about my gut reaction on what the author is telling me about their story. My first impression of Bruthas, was that its major themes were Family, Race, Urban Culture, and Crime.

Family is the thread that weaves through all the twists and turns of this intriguing murder mystery, and ties it all together. The story revolves around Thandi Whitfield and her three sons; a black American family living in Philadelphia. Race is a recurring theme that is sometimes very subtle, and sometimes hammers home the injustices that black families face every day.

Bruthas takes the reader into the urban culture of a big city. It really shows the reader what it's like to live among hundreds of thousands of people, where streets form boundaries of ethnic neighbourhoods.

Only black women addicts are being murdered in The Block, a specific high crime neighbourhood. The three Whitfield brothers become embroiled in the investigation of the murders in different ways. The author spins a web of mystery and suspense surrounding the Whitfield family. Could one of them be involved on some level? One minute I think it's possible, then I read on and I think it's impossible." "Bruthas shows the extent that families that love each other, will go to protect their own. It's heart warming in many ways, but also heart wrenching in others. My sympathy goes out to Thandi, as she finds out that Nate has become a criminal. She raised all three boys with love and understanding, so Nate's lifestyle is a betrayal of his upbringing that she just doesn't understand.

The sensitive treatment of Jai's ambition, Ryan's sexual orientation, and Nate's criminal activity is compelling. The lives of the three brothers are examined under a microscope, that shows every human failing, and triumph. The young men become real to me.

This thrilling tale has a powerful impact. It grabs the reader's interest from the first chapter on, and just won't let go. Its raw depiction of a family in crisis is courageous in its candidness, and vivid depth of emotion. The anger, racial pride and frustration against the white powers that be are very realistic, and sometimes disturbing in their intensity.

Bruthas is a book that I would recommend whole heartedly to adult readers. This is not a book for teens, or the faint of heart. It is brutal in its violence, and graphic in its sexual detail. The language is course to the extreme. Still, it is an excellent story. I will probably read it again at some point - it's just that good.

Disclaimer: This is very much an adult story. Not recommended for younger readers, not even teens.