Monday, July 2, 2012

Book Review - "The Borgia White Affair" by Mayo R. Delilly, III

“I can retain neither respect nor affection for a government which has been moving from wrong to wrong in order to defend its immorality,” stated Mohandas K. Gandhi. This quote appropriately introduces a section in the novel, The Borgia White Affair. In his debut novel, author Mayo R. DeLilly skillfully unfolds a government scandal that threatens the peace and security of a nation.

The novel is set in modern times. A war against drugs has been waged. It has been a long, losing battle. The government develops a scheme to finally rid the nation of drugs. While the goal is a noble one, the method is unconventional and it leads to untold death, pain and suffering.

Dr. Lester Phillips is a good man. He works hard and he loves his family. He is a model citizen. He grew up in a rough neighborhood and he has a lot of compassion for people from all walks of life. As a physician, he becomes keenly interested in the rise of cocaine deaths. He begins to search for answers. He teams up with a colleague and they begin their quest. The novel spans several seasons. The death toll continues to rise. As Dr. Phillips gets closer to finding out the source of the sinister plot, his life and that of his colleague becomes endangered. As the plot continues to unfold, it gets thicker and thicker. More and more characters are involved and more is at stake. In their wildest dreams, they could not have imagined where their search would lead them.

This fast-paced story is truly a page-turner. While entertaining, it challenges the reader’s sense of morality. The story touches on political and social issues such as racism and nationalism. One of my favorite quotes in this novel is from the main character, Dr. Phillips. After he loses one of his friends to drugs, he cries, “There’s no difference. No difference between the iron shackles my forefathers wore as slaves and the shackles of drug dependency that subjugates many black people today.” In the end he concluded, “The answer to the drug problem in this country will never come from the end of a needle or the barrel of a gun…the answer lies in the heart!” Powerful statements like these are found all throughout the book.  

Author Mayo DeLilly practices General Pediatrics in Los Angeles, CA. He attended Howard University in Washington, DC. DeLilly uses Washington, DC as a backdrop for the novel. The main character, Lester Phillips, is a Pediatrician in DC. It is very apparent throughout this book that DeLilly is writing about things that are familiar to him. He vividly describes the streets of DC. The medical terminology used in the writing reveals the author’s depth of knowledge. DeLilly’s detailed writing style made this novel very interesting. I am confident that anyone who reads The Borgia White Affair will enjoy this heart-pounding thriller.

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