As luck would have it, that was the only one of the six shortlisted titles I’d already read. 🙂 Here’s my take on it:
“Intense book peopled with strongly-voiced characters. James writes from various perspectives, in various voices, from ghetto rude-boy to CIA station chief to woman-caught-in-the-middle, and I found all of them believable.
I found the violent scenes especially absorbing (a crack-house slaughter and a live burial stand out specifically), not just because I got caught up in the writing, but also because they hammered home how unfair life can be. It’s easy to say “you always have a choice” when you are warm/clean/well-fed, but out in the ghetto that message really loses any kind of meaning. Life is a Russian roulette, and sometimes people don’t die. What kind of life rests them is entirely up for debate, too.
He dumps you in at the deep end, though, so be warned – but stick with it.”
Now to read the other five to see how they compare…