Lola by Melissa Scrivner Love

"All people everywhere, rich or poor, skinny or fat, are animals. Looking for a fight. Looking to turn everyone against the weakest.

Who is Lola? Dad was never in the picture and Mom was a drug addict who exchanged young Lola's body for her latest fix. Lola quickly grew a thick skin and acclimated to life in the underbelly of Los Angeles. Now she is the girlfriend of Garcia, the apparent leader of the drug running gang the Crenshaw Six. Trouble arises when cartel leaders task the gang with infiltrating a drop from a local competitor. Success will give the gang a higher status within the cartel. As further motivation, the cartel leader gives Garcia an ultimatum. Complete the interception or they will take away the one thing that matters most to Garcia. . . Lola's life.

Unbeknownst to the cartel, Garcia is not the one calling the shots. It is actually Lola, the woman they dismissed as mere collateral, who covertly oversees the Crenshaw Six. When Carlos, a former lover and the leader of the gang, began to selfishly keep money for himself instead of sharing with the other gang members, Lola murdered him and took the reigns of the group. Clearly, Lola is no traditional damsel in distress! Relying on her intellect and cold-blooded instincts, Lola goes head to head with some of the most ruthless men in the drug circle to advance the mission of the Crenshaw Six and save her own life.

As the main story of besting the cartel unfolds, Lola also finds herself in a situation that is even more personal than saving her life. Lola harbors five-year-old Lucy whose early life mirrors her own. Lucy's mother is an addict who pimps the young girl to her boyfriend. Her parents are good people who try to give their granddaughter some kind of reprieve, but their landlord happens to be the father of their daughter's boyfriend. Their fear of eviction renders them silent against the horrors young Lucy faces. Determined to save Lucy from the life that Lola was forced to live, she takes on the young girl as her own. Even as Lola's entire world seems to be crashing in around her, she refuses to allow Lucy to return to the mistreatment of her home.

In Lola, author Melissa Scrivner Love writes a thriller that contains the suspense, character development, and creativity of a seasoned veteran. The title says it all. This book is completely devoted to Lola and the people she surrounds herself with.  Lola precariously balances on the edge of what is right and wrong. On the one hand, she conducts her business with a strict moral code. Lola cares deeply about her community and her gang members. At the same time, she is not afraid to get her hands dirty when the situation requires it, even if that means sacrificing personal loyalties. By having a woman be the leader of a gang in a predominately male industry, the author gives a unique perspective to what could easily have been a straight-forward drug thriller. Melissa Scrivner Love writes with an assured sense of place and voice that makes her a definite author to watch in the future. Lola is a solidly competent debut that I thoroughly enjoyed.

For more information, visit Amazon and Goodreads.

(2017, 12)

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8 Responses to “Lola by Melissa Scrivner Love”

  1. This sounds intense and sadly I am sure there are far too many Lola's in the world.

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    1. I'm afraid that you are probably right.

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  2. This book sounds like a heavy subject! What a great review, thanks for sharing.

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    1. It is definitely heavy, but the author does a nice job of balancing it out with a more traditional thriller.

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  3. I would have a hard time reading this one, with the injustice done to Lucy. Sounds like it was a riveting read, though!
    Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review

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    1. It was often hard to stomach. Still, I felt like Lucy's life in parallel with Lola's provided a nice motivation to the character.

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  4. It sounds like this book has plenty of rough and tumble in it, which is going to make it one you need to be prepared or a bit steely for reading. I do like the sound of it being really centered around Lola. By the end of the novel I am sure she is a character you know inside out.

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    1. By the end we do know her well, but part of what makes the novel work is that she is a mystery even to us. That discovery of the character is fantastic!

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