Rummanah Aasi
 Liz Rocher is coming home . . . reluctantly. As a Black woman, Liz doesn't exactly have fond memories of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a predominantly white town. But her best friend is getting married, so she braces herself for a weekend of awkward and passive-aggressive reunions. Liz has grown, though; she can handle whatever awaits her. But on the day of the wedding, somewhere between dancing and dessert, the bride's daughter, Caroline, goes missing-and the only thing left behind is a piece of white fabric covered in blood.

Review: Jackal is a taut, debut thriller that is steeped in real life terror. For more than three decades, Black girls in the predominately white town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania have been killed and/or gone missing. The missing women's lives are forgotten or have been slandered which provides a convenient excuse for the police to not open an investigation. 
  The book is told in two narratives. In one narrative we follow our protagonist, Liz Rocher who has reluctantly returned to her hometown because of her best friend's wedding. Liz is one of the handful of Black residents and has constantly been berated with racial microaggressions. We learn that she has been seeking therapy and has recently ended a toxic relationship. The author does a good job in making the reader care for Liz as we get to know her past in small details throughout the story. 
  The second narrative is the "jackal", which is interestingly told in the second person narration. These chapters intersect Liz's story and provide its chilling atmosphere. It is through the jackal's chapter that we learn more about the young Black women who have been essentially hunted and preyed upon. 
  The two narratives intersect when Liz's godchild and best friend's biracial daughter goes missing and her Liz's mother is being threatened to leave her residence. Unable to let the police botch another investigation, Liz sets out to take on the town's entrenched racism and confront the jackal after she begins to recognize the pattern of the disappearances that others have ignored. 
  I had a hard time putting this thriller down. The suspense and horror that these Black women go through is certainly spine tingling. The mystery surrounding the jackal had me hooked and I was surprised to find a supernatural element woven throughout the story. The supernatural element didn't quite work for me, but it didn't hinder my engagement of the story. The real beast here is racism which will slowly kill you. I would definitely recommend this book to readers who enjoy thrillers with social commentary or movies like Jordan Peele's "Get Out" or "Us" or the television show "Lovecraft Country". 

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is strong violence at times gory, language, and a fade to black sex scene. Recommended for older teens and adults.

If you like this book try: For teens try Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson, For adults try As The Wicked Watch by Tamaron Hall, Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
1 Response
  1. "Get Out" was an incredible film so if this is anything like this, I'll bet it's really good.

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