Murderville is the type of book that speaks to certain audience while also touching on subject matter that piques the interest of a broader range of readers. Ashley & JaQuavis are partnered (also married) authors who have become the leading faces in urban and African-American literature. A number of their books are critically acclaimed for their portrayal of the harsh street life that many inner-city minorities face. Murderville on the other hand, is something more than just street-literature.

The book begins in the underground world of Sierra Leone where young people are often kidnapped and forced into a life they don’t deserve. Liberty and A’shai are brought together after A’shai’s ruthless father orchestrates a raid on the village that Liberty resides in. A’shai is forced to take Liberty as a prisoner but develops a liking for her. Later on, A’shai catches his father attempting to abuse Liberty. He attacks his father and flees with Liberty.

A picture of authors Ashley and JaQuavis
Authors Ashley and JaQuavis

An unfortunate turn of circumstances sees the two be captured by human traffickers who sell them to a cartel in Mexico. What follows is a separation between both characters that sees them forced into separate walks of life until they are both reunited later on.

At its core, Murderville is a heart-breaking love story in which both parties must overcome their hardships to be united. Although there are times where the events unfold too conveniently, the obstacles presented in this story feel authentic. As a reader, you’re aware that these are things that happen to real people. This awareness makes you feel more empathetic for these characters that literally have no other choice than to fall in line with what happens to them.

By the end of the book we see the characters show growth and make crucial decisions that change their futures forever. At some points during the books final act, the twists start to feel noticeably exaggerated. In theory, there’s nothing wrong with a few erratic twists; it’s just that in contrast to how real the rest of the book feels, these particular twists stand out.

Despite the small criticisms, Murderville is an extraordinary take on the underworld and how it affects the lives of those caught up in it. It’s also a compelling love story that will pull on your heart strings. Whether you choose to continue with the series or not, this book alone is worth a read.

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Murderville book cover

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