Book Review

Black, White, and Gray All Over: A Black Man’s Odyssey in Life and Law Enforcementby Frederick Reynolds


From shootouts and robberies to riding in cars with pimps and prostitutes, Frederick Reynolds’ early manhood experiences in Detroit, Michigan in the 1960s foretold a future on the wrong side of the prison bars. Frederick grew up a creative and sensitive child but found himself lured down the same path as many Black youth in that era. No one would have guessed he would have a future as a cop in one of the most dangerous cities in America in the 1980s-Compton, California. From recruit to detective, Frederick experienced a successful career marked by commendations and awards. The traumatic and highly demanding nature of the work, however, took its toll on both his family and personal life-something Frederick was able to conquer but only after years of distress and regret.

Memoirs are good for many things. You can learn about people such as their past and or current life, their perspective of different subjects, and maybe how they feel about their future. And maybe learn something from them yourself. What can they teach you? What wisdom can they pass on even though they themselves may not know?

This book had a lot going for it. The author opened himself up about his struggles not only as a person but as a police officer. These worlds, which we are always told to keep separate, unfortunately blended together from time to time. The writing was very well written and, as the reader, you can feel everything alongside him.

This memoir follows the different stages of the author’s life and his career. The best and worse parts of being a police officer throughout the years and how fast things happen. The rollercoaster of his personal life and how he overcame it by making the change himself. This book also shares the best and worse in people as a country, city, community and individuals.

This memoir was a good read. It gave the reader a behind-the-scenes view of how law enforcement works. I think the author did a brave thing to write openly about his struggles in not only his personal life but also his career. The stories he told in here not only were eye opening but also heart felt. This is the reason I love reading about people. You never know what you may learn from them.

I recommend this book. If you love nonfiction, history, law enforcement, and memoirs, then this gem is for you.

*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, and this is my honest opinion.

I give this book a 4/5

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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