Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Lola by Melissa Scrivner Love

The Crenshaw Six are a small but up-and-coming gang in South Central LA who have recently been drawn into an escalating war between rival drug cartels. To outsiders, the Crenshaw Six appear to be led by a man named Garcia . . . but what no one has figured out is that the gang's real leader (and secret weapon) is Garcia's girlfriend, a brilliant young woman named Lola. 

Lola has mastered playing the role of submissive girlfriend, and in the man's world she inhabits she is consistently underestimated. But in truth she is much, much smarter--and in many ways tougher and more ruthless--than any of the men around her, and as the gang is increasingly sucked into a world of high-stakes betrayal and brutal violence, her skills and leadership become their only hope of survival. 

Lola is a 26 year old from Huntington Park, a predominately Latino lower income city adjacent to South Central L.A. After a drug deal goes bad, she is given two days to find the cartel’s cash and heroin before they kill her. She also inherits or maybe even borderline kidnaps a young girl. 

Turns out that this young girl is in the same situation that Lola was in when she was younger; being pimped out by her junkie mom for a fix. No one knows that she’s the actual leader of the local gang called the Crenshaw Six. She is a boss dealing with being a woman and a minority in a male and while dominated field/city. The story does a great job of capturing real life details. This give readers a truer understanding of a different culture who literally lives only just 10 minutes away from the ‘liberal westside’. 

My only complaint (and I understand that I am only nit picking) is where did the gang name come from given that the street Crenshaw is nowhere near their city of Huntington Park? Other than that, it’s a very well written book from this first time author. You’ll also enjoy this book if you are a fan of Michael Connelly and other writers who base their stories in Los Angeles. Serendipitously, I just started watching a TV drama called Life for which this author happened to be listed as a screenwriter.  

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Roberta

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