Then Came Four

Fiction - Thriller - Conspiracy
326 Pages
Reviewed on 02/09/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Then Came Four is a work of fiction in the thriller, action, and conspiracy drama subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience. Penned by author Edward Izzi, this powerful work unveils the grim reality of racial injustice in 1960s Detroit, a city pulsating with Motown but marred by systemic racism. The narrative follows Anthony 'Tony' Fiorello and Wesley Norris, law students whose unbreakable friendship is tested by the racial tension that grips the city. As Norris, now an assistant prosecutor, uncovers the atrocities committed by 'The Big Four,' a racist police squad, he becomes a target.

Author Edward Izzi uses a varied storytelling skillset to craft an emotionally charged experience, delving into a dark chapter of American history with style, grit, and heart. As readers navigate the complexities of racial injustice, friendship, and the pursuit of justice, they enter a vivid world where every uniquely penned moment of dialogue counts for something, and no stone is left unturned as the conspiracy deepens. The characters are vividly portrayed against the backdrop of a city torn apart by racial tensions, and I was impressed with the emotional, close narration that allows the characters’ actions and intentions to come through with perfect clarity. The story is a poignant reminder of the struggles faced by those fighting against systemic racism and the profound impact of individuals standing against injustice, but it’s also supremely well told as a piece of fiction that brings empowerment and awareness to these issues. Overall, Then Came Four is a highly recommended work for fans of action-thrillers seeking something more poignant and thought-provoking than your average work in the genre.

Keith Mbuya

The body of Cynthia Young, a black hooker, had been found abandoned in the streets of Detroit, a bullet lodged at the back of her head and handcuff marks on her wrists. Before her tragic death, she had been repeatedly raped by members of the Detroit Police Department’s Tactical Squad, popularly known as the Big Four. Like many other black people who had suffered the same fate as Cynthia, her murder would never be investigated. No one had the guts to question DPD or the Big Four. They openly harassed, brutalized, and murdered black people, all with the blessing of the DPD. However, fresh from law school, Wesley Norris, Wayne County’s newest assistant district attorney, is determined to get justice for Cynthia and stop the Big Four’s reign of terror. With the help of Joanne, a journalist, and his close friend Tony, an attorney, will the young black attorney win against a tightly-knit bigoted system? Find out in Edward Izzi’s Then Came Four.

Edward Izzi’s Then Came Four is just what you want if you love crime and conspiracy thriller novels with a political edge. With colorful, evocative depictions, Izzi takes readers back in time to the 1960s and 70s Detroit, uniquely capturing the era’s mood and setting, along with a nostalgic touch. Weaving an intriguing plot anchored in love, romance, racism, murder, crime, dirty cops, daring journalists, relentless attorneys, and so much more, Izzi had me hooked, drawing me into the cast’s conflicts, and the suspense, drama, and plot twists. The juxtaposing of the cast’s complex traits and the author's way of depicting their emotions made them authentic and easy to connect with. Izzi is easily my favorite crime novel author and, like his other crime thrillers I’ve read, I thoroughly enjoyed Then Came Four.

Frank Mutuma

The tactical squad had largely been left alone until the death of Cynthia Young. Cynthia was a prostitute going about her business when she was raped and murdered. Her case captures the attention of an upcoming journalist with the Detroit Free Press. This was not an isolated incident; the tactical squad, with the backing of Commander Crandel, had harassed mostly the black community of Detroit with impunity. Tony, a lawyer, and Wesley, an assistant prosecutor, are best friends and know each other from law school. Wesley has had to fight a lot of prejudice to get to where he is because of the color of his skin. To find out about their contribution to the ongoing fight for equality and against systemic racism, pick up Then Came Four by Edward Izzi.

Then Came Four by Edward Izzi is a must-read! This thought-provoking work expertly captures some of the most important issues affecting society, such as racism and its impact, police brutality, and other social issues. The book did an excellent job of passing on the intended message without alienating anyone. The twists and turns in the flawlessly flowing plotline kept me on the edge of my seat, and I loved the vivid descriptions of events and the emotions of the well-developed characters, which helped to create a mental picture of what was happening. I loved the steady narration, and Edward also used suspense to great effect, which made me anticipate subsequent chapters. I am looking forward to reading something else by this talented author.

Essien Asian

While there may be a problem with crime in the Detroit area, the Thirteenth Precinct manages it well. This is because Commander Crandell has come up with a clever way to keep his streets crime-free. He has his officers employing every possible tactic to keep citizens in line. When necessary, Crandell is not above breaking the law, and he even encourages his subordinates to do the same. When a new prosecutor reopens a case involving the mysterious death of a prostitute, Crandell realizes his usual tactics do not deter this young man. He resorts to more persuasive methods with devastating consequences in Edward Izzi’s Then Came Four.

In the plot of Then Came Four, a young prosecutor discovers that his determination to solve a cold case attracts the unwanted attention of some members of the Detroit Police Department. Izzi’s version of corruption fighting back is detailed, and in certain instances may be a little too graphic for some readers. Despite this, the novel reflects a believable picture of police excesses. The characters are well fleshed out, especially with the members of the big four, where each of them hides a fearsome alter ego. An example of this is when Mancini counsels Markowicz on his marital problems. The conversations between the characters are interesting and easy to follow. The best part of this story is following Anthony charting a course for himself that takes him out from under his father’s shadow. Edward Izzi blends action and drama into a fascinating novel.

Alma Boucher

Then Came Four is a conspiracy thriller by Edward Izzi. The Big Four were the members of the Tac Squad of the Thirteenth Precinct. Officers Mancini, Savage, Laughlin, and Markowitz patrolled the streets and enforced an unwritten curfew that targeted African Americans. From unjust arrests to horrifying brutality, their reign of terror created a path of injustice. Wesley Norris and Tony Fiorello, two law students, grew close and became lifelong friends. Their unwavering connection was based on their promise to support one another no matter what. Wesley learned of the Big Four's horrifying crimes as he advanced to the position of assistant prosecutor for Wayne County. Wesley's quest for justice sparked a risky cat-and-mouse game, and when Wesley was found dead under mysterious circumstances, the battle for justice became personal for Tony.

The plot of Then Came Four by Edward Izzi highlights the strengths of friendship, the pursuit of justice, and the resilience of a city. The story was action-packed and moved quickly, and I was immediately engrossed in this gripping and exciting plot. The book was hard to put down, and the suspense kept me on the edge of my seat. The characters were distinct from one another, realistic, strong, and well-developed. At times, it was hard to comprehend the Big Four's reign of terror and why these people would go to such lengths to harm others. The story is well-written with an intriguing plot, and the tension builds up to an exciting end that exceeded my expectations by far.