Dashka Slater. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-374-30323-5 Journalist and author Slater (Escargot) offers
At the start of Melissa Scrivner Love’s stunning debut, a messenger from the Los Liones cartel visits the Huntington Park, Calif., home of 26-year-old Lola Vasquez and extends an offer to her boyfriend, Garcia. If Garcia’s gang, the Crenshaw Six, can intercept a drop between one of Los Liones’s former dealers and the man’s new supplier, the gang will get 10% of the loot and control of the dealer’s territory; if they fail, Lola dies.
Garcia accepts, but the ambush goes awry, forcing Lola—the Crenshaw Six’s true leader—to emerge from the shadows and fight for her own survival and the safety of those she holds dear.
This powerful read is at once an intelligently crafted mystery, a reflection on the cycles of violence and addiction, and a timely mediation on the double standard facing women in authority. Love’s writing is artful and evocative, her story’s sense of place and culture are strong, and, in Lola, Love has created a fully fleshed-out and uniquely compelling antihero who commands fear, respect, and adoration in equal measure.
Melissa Scrivner Love. Crown, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-0-451-49610-2
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