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The Hustle by Elizabeth Roderick
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: May 31st 2016
Genres: LGBTQ+, New Adult, Romance, Thriller
Liria is nineteen, homeless, and addicted to heroin…
She’s also determined to not end up dead—like her mother. But every time she tries to get clean, on her feet, and back on the employment train, everything falls apart. This time is different. This time, she knows there are only two choices—addiction or death. Once she gets clean, though, her life ends up even rockier than before.
Desperate for help, Liria goes to the one person she can count on for a safe place to stay and regular meals—her father, Cyryl Czetski. However, she soon learns Cyryl isn’t her real father, and he wants a very different kind of relationship. Liria ultimately rejects his advances and ends up on the streets yet again, this time working in an illegal strip club.
Finally taking control of her life, Liria lands a job in a Vegas nightclub, where she meets Arty—the woman of her dreams.
Arty is beautiful, funny, and rich. But when other nightclub employees turn up dead—including Liria’s best friend, Lee—Liria suspects the business might be a front for something far more sinister.
When Arty reveals Liria’s life is also in danger, she promises to keep her safe. But Arty’s acting strangely, and seems to know too much about the mysterious deaths. Is she really trying to save her, or is she holding her hostage, using her as a pawn in a game Liria doesn’t understand?
Liria thought she was used to always second guessing everyone’s intentions. That’s how life is. But if the drugs don’t ruin her, The Hustle will…
5***** – Raw story skillfully written
** I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review **
In the name of honesty, I must warn potential readers that The Hustle is NOT an easy book to read for multiple reasons. Not all people will understand the magical realism in it, which I found fascinating so that wasn’t a problem. Others won’t stand the drug scenes. This topic hits home with me every time because my immediate family has been battling a serious drug issue for the last twenty years. I guess that’s one of the reasons it took me a while to relate to Liria. I had to overcome my own issues as she reminded me too much of my drug addict relative.
Having said that, I guess the author’s talent played the biggest part in my persistence to read the book in spite of my personal problems with the main character. If the writing weren’t so good I would have probably given up reading it. Ms. Roderick does a splendid job of fleshing out the characters – both main and secondary – as well as building the plot. I felt the story started out a bit slow but when it gained speed it became a roller coaster ride with such intense emotions and all that happens to Liria.
Like I said in the beginning, The Hustle isn’t a ‘light’ read but it surely is a book that will stick with you long after you’ve finished reading it. But then again aren’t great books supposed to do that?
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A signed copy of The Hustle
ELIZABETH RODERICK grew up as a barefoot ruffian on a fruit orchard near Yakima, in the eastern part of Washington State. After weathering the grunge revolution and devolution in Olympia, Washington, Portland, Oregon and Seattle, she recently moved to a small cluster of houses amidst the vineyards of California’s Central Coast.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and worked for many years as a paralegal and translator. She is a musician and songwriter, and has played in many bands, rocking some instruments she doesn’t even know the real names for, but mostly guitar, bass and keyboards.
Elizabeth writes novels for young adults and adults; short stories; and memoir which is way more interesting than it should be. Her stories are about love, death, gang warfare, and madness; her characters tend to be of the type that society generally shuns: addicts, convicts, and the mentally ill. She believes if people get to know these characters in stories and in real life, they’ll find them more likeable than they originally thought.
She applies Hunter S. Thompson’s Gonzo method to fiction writing. It often gets a little heavier than what she had in mind, but she chalks it up to forced consciousness expansion.