All Involved, by Ryan Gattis

25686263This terrific book should become a modern crime classic. Set on the fringes of the 1992 LA riots, it’s the story of Latino gangs using the city meltdown and the desperate overstretching of enforcement agencies to settle their own scores. It’s told as a series of vignettes over six days, each focusing on a particular character. These characters then appear in each other’s stories, giving rise to a polyphonic evocation of just how utterly messed up gang culture is. Revenge leads to revenge, death leads to death, and it’s only a lucky few who can escape the bloody downward spiral.  This is thrilling, visceral, graphic stuff, a sledgehammer of a book that kept me turning the pages quicker and quicker. All you people who lapped up The Wire need to get on board with this one. Brilliant.