The splash of colour on the cover of Harlem Shuffle (published by Double Day/Penguin Random House, 2021), the latest novel by New York based American writer Colson Whitehead, sets a nostalgic feel for a story which takes place in the 1960s New York suburb of Harlem. Central to proceedings is Ray Carney, who owns a furniture store there.
Although his father was a criminal, Ray prefers to stay on the straight and narrow. Most of the time anyway. He’d rather lookout for his wife, growing family, and a house in a different neighbourhood. But even the best laid plans come undone, and Ray unwittingly finds himself on the wrong side of the law, and some dangerous criminal underworld figures.
A taste of days passed is not the only theme the cover brings to mind. Safe dials, diamonds, and what looks like crow bar, are also apparent. This is no story about another run of the mill day at the furniture shop. Have you read Harlem Shuffle already? I see some people on Instagram with advance reader copies. What did you think?