by Melissa Scrivner Love
March 21, 2017
Blurb from Goodreads: 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.
SASCHA DARLINGTON’S REVIEW
Lola is a gripping, character-driven mystery novel in which the title character, Lola, is caught in the middle when the Crenshaw Six are supposed to disrupt a drug buy that goes awry. Presumed to be the “girlfriend” of the leader of the Crenshaw Six, Lola’s life is put up as the motivation to rectify the busted deal.
I found Lola to be a compelling read, mainly because we’re in the head of a woman who is smart and observant and who is trying to compete in what has been predominantly a man’s world. She has to make tough decisions and be tough, knowing that to do otherwise would compromise her credibility.
But Lola isn’t the only tough, capable woman in Lola. There is also Andrea, a DA, and Mandy, the wife of an upscale drug dealer, Lorraine, the mother of a drug dealer, and Lucy, a child, who reminds Lola of herself and whom Lola tries to save from the life that made Lola who she is. In fact, it’s the women in Lola who are invariably multi-dimensional, whereas the men seem mostly unaware, guided by ego or sex or power.
While it was the comparison to Lisbeth Salander that brought me to this book, upon reading I didn’t observe much of Lisbeth Salander in Lola except for perhaps a detached grittiness. Lisbeth and Lola are on two different ends of a spectrum for this reader. In all of the ways that Lisbeth put herself on a particular fringe of a society via piercings, tattoos, and dress, Lola has put herself into its pockets as the unseen woman and it is here where she is successful.
If you’re looking for a page-turning, intriguing, well-paced novel, you might want to give Lola a go for something out of the ordinary.
I was won a copy from the Shelf Awareness giveaway, which in no way affected my review of this novel.
From Amazon: Lola
rating: (4 butterflies and a ladybug)