RaveThe Los Angeles Review of Books... a memoir, a double bildungsroman, and a murder mystery. By combining these forms, it goes deeper than any one of them could ... In other hands, this story could have been dry sociology, moralistic preaching, or a condescending yarn. But because the relationship came first — and because Westhoff (disclosure: a slight acquaintance) is honest enough and humble enough to keep his ego out of the equation — the story feels both real and fair ... He keeps going, though, until he has both answers: who likely killed his little brother and who his little brother really was. The book opens a navigable passage between their separate worlds, and it goes below the surface characterizations, the stereotypes and assumptions that kill any honest discussion. We learn how St. Louis neighborhoods wound up as they did, and we see the Ferguson of Michael Brown’s shooting from a new angle ... Other bits of background, though, feel digressive. The writing is clear, but the information pulls us just a little too far from the main story, putting brakes on the speeding whodunit ... One of the book’s beauties is Westhoff’s ability to drop telling details ... The point Westhoff most wants to make is that it’s too simplistic to divide the world \'into good guys and bad guys.\' But Little Brother also makes a subtler point: that it is possible for two people to love each other across worldviews that do not sync. Jorell’s life is as exhausting and dangerous as any double agent’s. The details Westhoff uncovered teach us about his home terrain, about the geopolitics of isolation, about realpolitik and the limitations of allies ... If a reporter had parachuted into this story, it would have ended up a flat, remote, predictable account of one more young Black man’s death. But because Westhoff lived it, because he cared, he lets us wonder and puzzle and rage along with him. And that caring, like Jorell’s orange soda and Little Debbies, is a form of hope.