by Melissa Scrivner Love
Crown Publishing Group
Published March 21, 2017
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.
An astonishing debut crime thriller about an unforgettable woman who combines the genius and ferocity of Lisbeth Salander with the ruthless ambition of Walter White. Lola marks the debut of a hugely exciting new thriller writer, and of a singular, magnificent character unlike anyone else in fiction.
Raw, brutal and tense, this thriller presents a woman who melds into the shadows of a man's world while baring teeth, strength and wit to leave them all behind.
The Crenshaw 6 gang in southern LA is about to have a break-through in their importance in the crime world. . .if they can fulfill the Cartel's wishes and take out a rival. The Cartel assumes Garcia is the gang's leader, while Lola remains as his passive, shy girlfriend. When the chance to bring down the rival goes sour, Lola's life stands on the line, and she has to figure out how to fix it.
It's been awhile since I've picked up a crime thriller, and I'm so glad I didn't pass on this one. It's violent and the characters ruthless. The morals in these circles hits rock bottom, making every breath a struggle from life the moment a kid is born. Lola is no different, and her character demonstrates a masterful weave of cold and warmth.
The author does a fantastic job of making Lola likable and sympathetic, while leaving her ruthless and without mercy or guilt when the need arises. She's smart to the point of being dangerous, and yet, there's a part of her that's as warm as the sun. This opposition of traits lures in and makes her a character impossible to forget.
But it isn't only Lola which rounds off the scenes. The other characters come to life, pulling in their own directions as they struggle to stay afloat in a harsh reality. Every single one has their scars and suffers in their own way. The layers of sub-plots surrounding Lola's main goal add a richness and depth, which goes beyond one woman's story.
Reality sets in hard on every page and carries all the scents, tastes and feel of Lola's world. For every action, there's a reaction and these come with unpredictable force, twists and turns. The costs are always high and nothing comes easily, which creates a tension which doesn't let go the entire way through.
This is a fast-paced, high suspense read with a character which can still bring so much more. I'd love to see more of Lola in the future and hope this is only the beginning of her story.
I received this book from Blogging for Books and enjoyed it so much that I wanted to leave my thoughts.