1936. Clyde ‘The Viper’ Morton boards a train from Alabama to Harlem to chase his dreams of being a jazz musician. When his talent fails him, he becomes caught up in the dangerous underbelly of Harlem’s drug trade. In this heartbreaking novel, one man must decide what he is willing to give up and what he wants to fight for.
Clyde Morton is holed up in a jazz club in Harlem, his life seems to be collapsing around him so he is looking back at how he ended up where he is.
He set out for Harlem in the 1930's hoping to follow his dream of becoming one of the greats of the Jazz Age but, as is often the case, things don't fall right for him and he is soon working as a dealer (among other things) in the seedier side of town. He is okay with that until a new drug hits the streets. Smack (heroin) is a lot worse than he has been peddling so Clyde decides to draw the line while still getting deeper in with the gangs running Harlem.
This was a dark, gritty read, a gangland tale with the glory of jazz music running through it and I can honestly say I loved it. I had never heard of Jake Lamar before Viper's Dream but it looks like he has quite a back catalogue so I'm going to dive into that straight away.
Viper's Dream is an atmospheric tale that puts the reader right there, front and centre, in the Harlem of the 1930s through to the 1960s - a highly recommended read.
Thanks to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for inviting me onto this tour and for providing a review copy. All views and opinions are my own.
Please have a look at the posts by the other bloggers on the tour (below)