The Last of A Generation

A Novel Review of Before We Were Wicked By Eric Jerome Dickey

Demez White | 3/15/2019, 11:40 a.m.
We talk a lot about 90’s R&B, about how much we miss music that’s the soundtrack of a generation. Words ...

We talk a lot about 90’s R&B, about how much we miss music that’s the soundtrack of a generation. Words and beats that spoke to us in a way that transcended simply being a song. If Jodeci and SWV made songs that spoke to a generation then Eric Jerome Dickey made books that spoke to a generation.

“Before We Were Wicked” is a prequel to “Bad Men and Wicked Women.” It tells the story of Ken Swift and Jimi Lee and how one night of pleasure and passion changed both of their lives. In this novel, Eric does something that he started doing several novels ago, maybe starting with his Gideon series, maybe starting sooner. He combines the art of telling a love story with the grittiness of an action novel.

These characters feel like people we know. These storylines feel like lives we are all living to some extent. The novel opens with the reader feeling the pulse of intense desire. A man knowing nothing about the woman he wants but being drawn to her by her sex appeal. A woman knowing the path she wants to take in life but being sucked in by the pure animalistic instinct of a man.

While all of this chemistry is bubbling in front of our eyes you can see Ken Swift and his partner breaking toilet bowl seats over a man’s head that owes their boss money. The two men love women, violence, and dreaming. Dreaming about traveling the world and making more out of their lives.

But like they say on the Godfather, “Once you’re hit by the thunderbolt, your life is never the same.”

Ken Swift and Jimi Lee are hit by the thunderbolt and what should be one night turns into five years. Five years of raising a child neither of them were ready for. Five years of family drama, cheating, lying and this idea that even through all of this life will be ok.

“Before We Were Wicked” touches on the love of family, honor, and money. Are women willing to bad things men do if they bring money home? Jimi Lee is until she isn’t. Can you ever get over regret?

This novel isn’t an amazing story, it doesn’t take you on this crazy journey around the world. This novel is simply about a man and a woman and the crazy way love makes you feel.