||Michael C. Lee
||Feb. 28, 2005
Denard Blake is a happily married, streetwise Detroit ‘Narc’ cop, who has grown bored of the ‘so-called’ war on drugs. His thirst for excitement is quenched when Kevin Clark, a DEA agent, solicits his undercover services to help take down local drug kingpin, Stone. To further complicate Denard’s simple life, old flame Kathy London reappears and really helps to get things heated up. Before he realizes it, Denard has found himself deeply entangled in a web of deception, murder, corruption, and suspense.
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AS JASON ENTERED THE BUILDING, he encountered two black males, each about 20 to 25 years old. Nice sized guys. Looked to be former high school b-ballers, he thought. Jason quickly realized that they were the doormen, or look-outs, when one of them whistled as he descended the staircase.
The building was old, dirty and dilapidated. Jason peered down the hallway as he reached the bottom of the stairs. The hall was long, dark and eerie. The trek down this gloomy corridor suddenly became something that Jason did not want to do. However, he mustered up the courage and began his journey. The carpet beneath his feet was completely lifeless and filthy, littered with dust, chewing gum, and cigarette butts. The apartment doors were inconsistent in style and composition. Each step that he took down this drab pathway seemed harder than its predecessor.
Three-fourths of the way to his destination, Jason had a funny feeling inside and decided to abort his mission. He turned around, and in a more rapid pace, proceeded back to the front stairwell. Jason felt relieved about his decision until, suddenly, a young black male leaped from within a room off the hallway, grabbed Jason by the collar with his left hand and jammed the tip of a blue steel revolver into Jason’s left temple with his right hand.
Shocked, surprised and unable to react, Jason looked his assailant in the eyes and discovered that it was the same young man that he arrested in the same building less than three weeks earlier. On that occasion, Denard made the undercover buy, but Jason interrogated the thug at the precinct for thirty minutes face to face. The brief, fleeting moment that Jason hoped that the young man would not recognize him was somberly extinguished when the man looked Jason in the eye and said, “What’s up now, 5-0?”
Jason had written himself off for dead. Conscious of the time limit that he had, and although it seemed like an eternity, he was certain that only two minutes had lapsed, which would give this hoodlum two whole minutes to murder him and make good his escape. Thoughts of his mother, other loved ones and his short life raced through his mind. The most profound image that he envisioned was his lifeless body laying on the cold, mud stained floor with a bullet in the head. He feared that in the aftermath of his murder that the murderer would escape and justice would never be served. The mere thought of dying a death so void of dignity sickened him. But in one courageous moment, he remembered something an instructor told him in the police academy years ago- FIGHT BACK! YOU’RE NOT DEAD YET!
Realizing that he was still alive and didn’t have anything to lose, Jason quickly grabbed the gunman’s hand and snatched it away from his head. He forced the man into the wall behind him. The man now had his back against the wall and struggled violently as Jason, repeatedly, beat the gun hand against the wall until the weapon dislodged, fell to the floor and slid several feet away.
Jason knew it would not be long before the goon summoned the two doormen, so he fled up the front stairwell as soon as he had disarmed the man. As he took the steps, two by two, he could almost feel himself being shot in the back, fearing that he wouldn’t escape harm. Half way up the stairs, he heard the guy in the basement yell to the doormen.
“Get that motherfucker!”
Once he was at the top of the stairs, one of the look-outs, a tall stocky guy wearing a three-quarter length down filled jacket, grabbed him by his sweatshirt and slung him to the floor. Jason immediately gathered himself and jumped to his feet. The other doorman, a tall, thin character, peeked outside through the cracked door. As soon as Jason stood up, the tall guy tried to punch him in the face. Jason eluded the punch and hurled his body into the man’s, causing all three of them to fall outside of the front door. Jason purposely did this to alert Daddy-O of his distress.
Daddy-O saw what was happening through his side view mirror. He slammed the gearshift in reverse and stomped the accelerator, causing the tires to squeal. The two doormen reacted to the noise by pouncing to their feet and dashing in separate directions. Daddy-O, desperately, swerved the vehicle backwards. Moments earlier, the crew, which was less than three blocks away, had received the standard half-minute time check from Daddy-O, when suddenly they heard him screaming over the radio.
“Move in! Move in! The UC is in trouble!”
Date Reviewed: Apr 27, 2006
Up Close and Personal Look at the War on Drugs
Leading his narcotics division in a series of successful drug busts, Detroit police officer, Denard Blake, is at the top of his game. However, he is bored with arresting small-time hustlers. His true desire is to take down the kingpins. When a special assignment becomes available for his department to assist the DEA, his supervisor jumps at the opportunity, giving Blake the action he craves.
Happily married to Sheila for three years, Blake runs into his former girlfriend, Kathy London. Will he be able to maintain a platonic relationship with the sultry Kathy? The story intensifies as he tries to maintain his undercover status while dealing with Stone, a major drug dealer who he is trying to take down. All the while, there is corruption within the operation that Blake does not suspect.
I loved this book because it was a really fast-paced, energetic read. Lee used a lot of action and dialogue which kept the story moving. I found myself sitting at the edge of my seat and not wanting to put the book down. His writing style was very simplistic which worked well for maintaining the pace of the book. The only drawback to the book was the extremely small font the author used which can be a distraction. I do recommend CHANDLER PARK DRIVE.
Reviewed by Paula Henderson
of The RAWSISTAZ™ Reviewers
The Urban Flavor
By The Book
Chaundra McGill, Editor-In-Chief :: email@example.com
Murder, sex and drugs. Not exactly the ingredients of a healthy relationship, but the perfect mixture for a gritty crime novel staged on the streets of Detroit.
Michael C. Lee, a retired Detroit police inspector, authored “Chandler Park Drive,” a tale of suspense, murder and corruption. The main character Denard Blake is uncannily a Detroit narcotics officer with an insatiable appetite for action and apparently women who are not his wife. A corrupt DEA agent approaches the novel’s protagonist to assist in undercover work that will ultimately bring down a drug king pen. This Training Day meets Deep Cover novel is written as matter-of-factly as the details of its plot with many more twists and turns than the actual Chandler Park Drive itself.
Lee wrote “Chandler Park Drive” to satisfy his thirst for writing and the curiosity of friends who were continually fascinated by his experience of undercover drug buys, drug raids and gang interventions. Though the book is not autobiographical, the scenarios unfolded are fictionalized accounts of his experience as a cop.
Dedicating this novel to all of the fallen Detroit police officers, Lee in no way glorifies the lifestyle of drug dealers, and by the plot’s resolution, Detroit’s finest is hailed as the true heroes.
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