Ashby Holler tells the story of a young woman struggling to sort out her life in the midst of a 1980s war between rival drug-trafficking gangs. The young woman, Sasha, is her own worst enemy, her equal-opportunity sexual proclivities constantly vying with her need to prove herself to her mother, the moral-free leader of one of the gangs. Sasha satisfies her physical desires with more than one woman while still managing to mate with two of the gang’s lieutenants, brothers as it happens, one of whom later couples with Sasha’s mother. No matter, Sasha, still anxious for her mother’s blessing, willingly sends a snitch to his death down a mine shaft, typical of the graphic violence occurring throughout. The writing aims for the shocking and erotic but rarely achieves either, often failing to rise above schoolboy smut as in, “There was nothing he could do about the bulge in his pants except grind it into her.” The thin plot meanders predictably between fire-bombings and shoot-outs, with only one or two modest twists to add interest. In contrast, the ending is truly surprising, so surprising in fact it beggars credulity. Leave this book on the shelf.
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