WINNER OF THE JOHN CREASEY DEBUT DAGGER AWARD
Nominated for the Edgar Award for best first novel
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
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 marks the debut of a hugely exciting new thriller writer, and of a singular, magnificent character unlike anyone else in fiction.
At the start of 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.