Michael Lyons was the Los Angeles Times reporter covering all gang-related activities in the area. He had seen and experienced the dark side of the city, the unnecessary deaths and extended imprisonment of the young and old alike. When he was shot and wounded shortly after leaving his favorite watering hole, his fellow reporters were shocked, but ultimately, not surprised.
When Lyons was fired because an audio tape surfaced that made it sound like he had set up his own shooting, he loses the respect of fellow reporters, cops, and his fans. Even his longtime live-in girlfriend wants to separate herself from his questionable behavior.
When three seemingly unconnected murders occur, only Lyons realizes they are similar to his own shooting. Unfortunately, no one will listen to him. Lyons decides to conduct his own investigation to find out who shot him, and why. He garners the reluctant assistance of a few others including a couple of gang members who also donít know who the killer is.
He turns to freelance writing and writes a scathing article blasting the mayor and the Los Angeles Police Departmentís chief of police for their lack of understanding about the gang problem in the City of Angels, and for not recognizing they had a serial killer on the loose. It took another high profile murder before the suspect was finally identified and the net to capture the killer was set into place.
Southside is the first novel written by Michael Krikorian, a longtime writer of crime stories and personal essays. His extensive knowledge of the notorious street gangs throughout the Los Angeles area has given him the background to write this gritty and compelling tale.
A strong sense of place gives readers a taste of the gritty underbelly of the gang presence in Los Angeles, their disregard for the value of life, and their deadly scorn of anyone who disagrees with their lifestyle, including their own family members. The harsh reality of their way of life is described in such a way as to leave readers no doubt the story could be true.
The fast pace of the novel keeps pages turning. The author wisely switches from one viewpoint to another so readers know what the various characters are thinking, giving readers an inside look at the reason behind the behavior of the killer, an understanding the police are not privy too. At times it feels like the reader is actually watching the action in person.
If you are interested in a gritty, fast-paced crime story, this is the one to get. Hopefully, future novels will give you an opportunity to enjoy Mr. Krikorianís stories.
A special thank you goes to Oceanview Publishing for providing an advance reading copy of Southside for our review. If you are interested in purchasing this book, it is available on Amazon.com.