Samaritan

Samaritan - Richard Price A failed screenwriter returns to his hometown of Dempsey, New Jersey (the same fictional city featured in Richard Price's masterpiece Clockers), in order to get back in touch with his roots and to teach a high school class. After he decides to do some good deeds in the inner-city community, he gets his ass kicked close to death. He's refusing to name his attackers or give a reason for the beating, so his old high school friend, and now near-retired cop, Nerese "Tweetie" Ammons, sets out to find the answers.

Richard Price is a great wordsmith with true sense of authenticity in his writing. In Samaritan although there's some rambling soliloquizing from certain characters that drags and slows down the story at times, he tells a solid story of deep moral and emotional complexity with compelling, relatable characters (Nerese specifically is a refreshing creation). The novel also turns out to be a thoughtful look at the urban public education system.