Suburban Dicks focuses on the POV of two main characters in the setting of West Windsor, New Jersey. First we have Andrea Stern, having nabbed a prominent serial killer, Andrea was on the path to becoming a well renowned FBI profiler. However, she gave up this dream to raise her four (soon to be five) children. Andrea thought her crime solving days were behind her, but everything changes when she unintentionally pulls by into a crime scene at a gas station with her screaming kids . Police believe the murder is a robbery gone wrong and may have ties to drug dealing. However, Andrea has a hunch that is far from what happened. The victim was killed at point blank range which could only have been done by a professionalHer curiosity kicks in setting off events that push her back on the trail of catching killers.
Then we have Andrea’s childhood friend Kenny Lee. A writer, Pulitzer winner, and now a disgraced journalist who is also on the case to solve the murder. Kenny wants to prove himself as a capable journalist and that all his past achievements were not a fluke. Together with Kenny, her old colleagues, and also the south Asian community, Andrea looks to catch the killer while also uncovering that the case may be related to a racially motivated murder that occured in the 1960’s.
Although a very serious premise, Suburban Dicks was full of laughs and hilarious dialogue. I knew from the opening scene when Andrea pulls into the gas station with her kids and one ends up peeing all over the crime scene that this book was going to be full of hysterical moments. There is a lot of dark humour which is expected since the author wrote Deadpool. But the author does really well in balancing humour with the serious undertones of the novel.
The novel tackles racial prejudice against members of the community in particular the South Asian community as well as the African American community later on. Through this Andrea discovers that there is a lot of dark and shady shit that happened and is still occuring West Windsor, New Jersey. Institutionalized racism and aspects of white supremacy are examples of those issues. As someone who is South Asian, I definitely understand the forms of racism many characters went through. It’s absolutely awful and no one should go through such abuse. The cruel words that are used by racists and ignorant people really hit a nerve.
When considering the characters, the story was full of really interesting characters. Both Andrea and Kenny are going through their own distinct redemption arc. For example, although Andrea loves her children, getting back into the world of crime brings back memories of her time on the force and also what could have been if she stayed in the force. You can tell she loves solving crimes and working on identifying clues. This is the same for Kenny who had the world in the palm of his hands but decided to crush his prospering career. Although he doesn’t do some things by the book he wants to make a difference and help solve the murder.
Overall, a highly entertaining and funny novel. I’m very excited to see what Fabian Nicieza writes next and will be looking out for his next book🙇🏽♂️. The mystery elements are also great and you’re left guessing right till the end. The novel highlights issues such as institutionalized racism and how it can be passed down from one generation to another. Definitely recommend this novel🙌🏼
Thank you as always to the lovely people at Putnam especially Nishita for sending this to me. I’m really grateful for the opportunity to review these fantastic books 😊.