SOUTHSIDE REVIEW - L.A. Times reporter Michael Lyons works the street beat with his prime focus on members of gangs as he has the uncanny ability to put a human face on these seemingly interchangeable dangerous miscreants. Near his office, Michael stops at his favorite haunt the Redwood Saloon where affectionately he is known as “Hit’n’Run” for his frequent quickies. However, this time when he leaves the bar in daylight, someone shoots Lyons.
While he recovers from his wound, his journalist peers form a pool as to whom the trigger is and why. LAPD fails to find the culprit while the L.A. Times editorials rip the cops for incompetency and complacency until the police release a tape in which Michael eloquently explains the truth of being shot to a gang-member. While the shooter begins targeting other victims including the younger brother of incarcerated gangbanger Big Evil, a fired Lyons starts an investigation in the grim impoverished Southside.
Those who live on the means streets of LA own this dark graphic urban thriller; as the investigation highlights their grim existence. Fast-paced throughout, readers will appreciate entering the Lyons’ Den; escorted not by the late great New York columnist Leonard Lyons, but by a disgraced Los Angeles reporter working the gang circuit.
- Reviewed by Harriet Klausner