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The Dying Ground (Maceo Redfield Mystery #1)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  77 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Billy: dead. Felicia: missing.

None of the words made sense together, but the doom I'd expected announced itself. I felt iron in my mouth, like I'd gargled with pennies, a taste like blood, a bitter taste that always followed bad news.

The setting is Oakland, 1989; the crack epidemic is at its height and turf wars are brewing. Maceo Redfield, currently on hiatus from college
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 26th 2006 by One World/Ballantine (first published 2001)
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african american mysteries
47th out of 90 books — 34 voters
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20th out of 47 books — 9 voters

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Community Reviews

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Jun 20, 2009 Robin rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Michelle
Recommended to Robin by: Lori Price
Nichelle Tramble did a remarkable job writing from the perspective of a young man growing up on the streets of Oakland. Her characters were very alive and real. This type of novel was a first for me and I learned a lot. I particularly enjoyed the familiar settings: streets of Oakland, BART,The Oakland Zoo, the Oakland hills, San Francisco, streets in Berkeley,Lake Merritt, Grand Avenue, Grand Lake Theatre, Broadway, etc.... This book is at turns sad, funny, poignant and eye opening. I especially ...more
Lauren Nicole

The suspense in the last few chapters became so overwhelming that I read the last paragraphs of the final chapters to figure out what ultimately happened. But even with doing that, I had NO idea it would end that way: Reggie!!! Never saw that coming (although I don't think the author set it up for us to see that coming).

What I'm trying to wrap my mind around is how deep the theme of love ran in this novel--it was pretty central and everyone's love for something was deep and un
Riki Garvin
This book is readable and engaging, dramatic and suspenseful. Those qualities I could get from other books. But what I haven't seen before in other books is the insider's view of the world of drug dealers. The book is set in 1989 in Oakland, California, during midterms week at UC Berkeley, and the main character is a 23-year-old Black man whose family has money. Maceo is taking a semester off from Berkeley, where he played baseball, but lost his scholarship after an injury left him unable to pit ...more
More like 3.85 stars.
I'm not really into urban literature, but to be fair, this should be described more as literary in an urban setting. Tramble did an excellent job painting an accurate picture of Oakland in the 80s, particularly the drug culture. She did supreme justice to our slang (the dialogue was everything), local haunts, and laid back but aggressively cool temperaments. When it comes to great local, urban lit, this is right up there with Danyel Smith's, "More Like Wrestling" (but a lit
Nardsbaby Reader

To begin I purchased THE DYING GROUND under the assumption that the title held a totally different meaning. I read the first chapter on three occasions and I finally decided to set aside the time and read it. THE DYING GROUND fooled me in a good way. It wasn't HIP-HOP like I'd read, but instead a mystery littered with question after question. The characters, plot and depiction are so very real making you feel as though you are right in California as the story takes place.

A good mystery--and I don't have much luck with mysteries, because of the cheese factor. I'm in need of some urban-fiction savvy, so I was drawn in by the advertised "hip-hop noire" element of this detective novel. Admittedly, I was expecting some trashy drama...

Fortunately, it's not: Tramble manages to make Oakland street drama philosophical and interesting. And the main character, Maceo, has the classic protagonist/antagonist thing going on; even though he makes some bad decisions, the reader
This was one of the best books ive ever read in my life. The plot was very interesting. The book is about a man named Maceo Redfield who is in love with his best friend's girlfriend. Later on his best friend dies and the girl turns up missing. For many months he is in search of her. Through this journey he meets a lot of new people.

I really enjoyed reading this book. i'm hoping there is a sequel to this book or something similar.
Nijla Mumin
By far one of my favorite novels... It captures the Oakland/bay area scene brilliantly, unfolding into a riveting crime-drama complete with lingering traces of romance... Reading this book was a "total experience" in the sense that I was involved beyond reading... excellent novel
Fast-paced & well-written and made me eager to read the next book in the series. Must admit though, I was a bit taken aback by the main character's willingness to throw it all away for a woman whose feelings for him were questionable. Still, overall, an enjoyable read.
Sixrs cole
This book grabbed me because it's talking about where I live. The author started out strong but ended kind of weak. The author built up the mystery of the missing girlfriend but the climax kind of fizzled which is why I gave it 3 stars instead of 4.
Chris brown
I loved this book so much. If you are from Oakland you should read this book. I did not like her other book too much though (the last king) it just did not compare to this one
mystery set in 1989 crack-infested Oakland.. fast read.. well-developed characters (the city of Oakland being one of them).
May 06, 2008 Mark marked it as to-read
Man tries to help his true love after she is implicated in the killing of her drug dealer boyfriend in 1980s Oakland
Dustin Voliva
One great line and nothing much else.
Dee marked it as to-read
Jun 05, 2015
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Ln Uki marked it as to-read
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Maceo Redfield Mystery (3 books)
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