Let Us Not Talk Falsely Now
by T. Patrick Graves

"'See,' I tell her, 'I never really had a family.'"

In his work, Graves tackles the themes of racism, Islamophobia, and antisemitism through the lens of his protagonist, Johnny Desmond. He is a troubled young man with a painful past. He is part of a white supremacist group, and the leader is Peter Thurgood. Johnny respects him a lot and is willing to do anything for him. One day, on Peter’s orders, Johnny places a bomb at an Islamic center but realizes someone is inside the building. It turns out to be the janitor. Ironically, the janitor is a black man. In a blink of an eye, Johnny takes the man out of the building before the bomb explodes and flees the scene. From there, the police hunt to find this so-called Samaritan who saved the janitor and might have the answers regarding the bombing.

Graves dives deeply into Johnny’s internal emotions when confronted with situations he is not comfortable with. For example, when Peter orders him to place the bomb at the Islamic center, Johnny is struggling internally because he does not want to get someone killed. He is wrestling with his emotions because he sees Peter as a father figure. When he was a child, his mother neglected him, so child services took him and sent him to many foster homes. So, when Johnny met Peter, Peter gave him a place to stay and a sense of belonging somewhere. Johnny is torn between his loyalty to Peter and his conscience. When the author describes this moment, Johnny struggles with following what his heart and mind are telling him but finally reaches a decision. The reader will appreciate this book because it is filled with many twists and turns. The book conveys the message that hate can eventually turn into love.

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