you survive as leader of a South Central LA gang? What if you avoided
the limelight because, like Lola, you've learned it can be rough if
you're woman in power . . . especially in the drug world.
Lola stands across the craggy square of backyard she shares with Garcia. He mans the grill, rusted tongs and Corona with lime in hand, making the center of a cluster of men, their biceps bare and beaded with sweat, Crenshaw Six tattoos evident in their standard uniform of wife-beaters and torn cargo pants. If Lola were alone with Garcia, she would take her turn over the smoking meat, too, but as afternoon transforms Huntington Park from light to shadow, Lola stays away from the heat. Her place now is at the center of a cluster of women, their necks craning toward any high-pitched squeak that might be gossip, each one standing with a single hip cocked, as if at any second someone might place a sleeping child there for comfort.—Lola by Melissa Scrivner Love (Crown, 2017, p. 1 [uncorrected proof])
- Setting: modern times; Los Angeles, elsewhere in the US Southwest
- Circumstances: When Lola's gang, the Crenshaw Six, is given the chance to take over the territory of a rival dealer, they jump at the opportunity, even though they have to put up a guarantee. Thus Lola's life is on the line, under the guise as girlfriend to Garcia, the presumed man in charge. All they have to do is intercept a drop-off and their boss, the drug lord, will make them rich. The gang, however, runs into trouble, and Lola must find a way to save herself and her crew from death by assassination.
- Genre: contemporary thriller, mystery, crime fiction
- Themes: women's roles, Latino Americans, the drug culture, revenge
- Why I want to read Lola: I'm not normally drawn to books set in the drug culture, but I'm curious about Lola, who rose from a very bad childhood to a position of power in a world that doesn't generally respect women. She's been called ruthless, smart, and a survivor and has been compared to Lisbeth Salander (but isn't every tough female character these days?) mixed with a touch of Walter White.
- What reviewers have said: Most reviews describe the novel as action packed and mentioned that Lola was vividly portrayed. A couple of readers commented on the number of characters and the difficulty keeping them straight. Some thought the plot didn't hold up, but others are looking forward to a second book about Lola. Generally, however, the reviews have been more positive than negative.
- About the author: Melissa Scrivner Lover, daughter of a police officer and a court reporter, is a television screenwriter for crime shows, including CSI: Miami. This is her first novel.