He Had It Coming by Camika Spencer

Publisher/Date: St. Martin’s Griffin, Sept. 2004
Genre:  Mainstream Fiction
Pages:  212

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Arrogant, misogynistic Marcus Brooks gets more than he bargained for in HE HAD IT COMING, Camika Spencer’s tale of sweet revenge by the hands of five fed-up women.

Marcus is a fiction writer who’s made best-sellers lists by creating books about sistahs being the black man’s burden. Haunted by memories of his own bitter mother, he believes women are no-good, manipulative creatures. How else could one explain the title of his next book, Bitches, which is inciting women to protest?

Raylene, Naomi, Gwena, Thelma and Latice, all members of the Second Pew Book Club, planned to stand with thousands of other disgruntled women. But when a chance meeting with Marcus leads to a horrible incident involving a homeless woman, the five friends hatch a better plan: kidnap him and teach him a lesson he’ll never forget.

The ladies, who praised Marcus Brooks’ first novel, now feel his attitude has gotten out of hand and he needs to be put in check. So they subdue him and take him to Thelma’s house where they handcuff him to pipes underneath the kitchen sink. At first, their plan is to make him write another novel to replace Bitches, but that plan is quickly abandoned. The ladies realize that holding Marcus is more difficult than they imagined, especially since they have to take shifts to watch him and he’s berating them at every turn.

And along the way, each woman is dealing with her own personal issues. Raylene caught her fiancé, a preacher no less, getting busy with another church member; Naomi takes her hard-working husband for granted, while Thelma’s substituting human love with the affections of a dog; Latice can’t deal with her wanna-be-grown son; and Gwena’s hasn’t told her girls that Marcus is a man from her past.

Then the worst happens. When they finally agree to let Marcus go, he’s already freed himself by breaking the handcuffs – and all hell breaks loose.

Spencer writes an intriguing book full of humor, suspense, and plain old fun. It also brings honest conversations about women and men. He Had It Coming is not a lesbian novel, but the camaraderie of the five women is one to be admired. It proves a black man is no match for a strong black woman – especially five crazy ones.

Reviewed November 2005

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