Red Light Green Light
Sutton Place, Oct 2008, $16.95
Forty something crack addict Craig Stevens has been clean for forty-one days, but is not proud of being in his second month of clean as he knows the number of days means nothing; each new dawn denotes struggling all over again. He attends meetings near his rental in Far Rockaway to help him stay clean and receives strong but tough help from his landlady Miss Raymond and his sponsor Brother Raheim.
However, on this morning, Craig like so many other New Yorkers will be tested. The Twin Towers have been hit by jets and collapsed. Though he desperately needs a hit, Craig with assistance from Miss Raymond and Brother Raheim holds off although he prays he does not stumble to what looks inevitable. Instead he needs to know if Gazelle, the one woman who mattered before Crack took over his life and drove her away, is okay as a few years ago she worked in the shadow of the Towers. With a small advance from Miss Raymond who controls his money, he begins his public transportation and walks to her home in Queens only to learn she and her family moved to Hempstead. He continues his quest in Long island where he finds out that she works in one of the Towers so begins the next leg, Ground Zero to see if Gazelle, assuming she is alive, needs help although what he can do he knows is zero.
RED LIGHT GREEN LIGHT is an excellent character driven thriller in which the audience sees first hand the impact of the 9/11 tragedy through the eyes of Craig and those who help or hinder him on his quest. Craig is a unique protagonist as he struggles with his addiction all the time, but especially on the 9/11 day of infamy. Margaret Johnson-Hodge provides readers with a poignant powerful look at the most traumatic day in American history through a unique anti-hero. This is a book so memorable it will become a classic in the years to come.