That's when it hits me. I'm staring at a war zone. In South Central.
On an April night in 1992, Payasa learns that her older brother has been stabbed to death, his body left out in the road to rot. He was never involved. He was innocent. He didn't even carry a gun. And that messes with the rules, even for Lynwood, even for the streets.
But it's the first day of the LA riots, and the city is tearing itself apart. Fire-fighters, graffiti artists, nurses and law enforcement - all of them connected by this murder - find themselves caught in the mayhem. Every cop is distracted, and for the people who see the law as an enemy, it's a chance to settle old scores.
That's just too good an opportunity to miss.
All Involved is a symphonic, pitch-perfect, superlative novel. It is visceral and adrenalin-fuelled, yet tender and even darkly comic. It is audacious, unflinching and subversive. It doesn't judge. It swallowed me whole.
David Mitchell, author of CLOUD ATLAS and THE BONE CLOCKS
Do not resist All Involved. It's the most compelling, moving, shocking and world-expanding novel you'll read all year; it sucks you in, then spits you out, permanently changed. I loved it with a frankly scary evangelical zeal.
Charlotte Mendelson, Orange Prize-shortlisted author of WHEN WE WERE BAD and ALMOST ENGLISH
A high-octane speedball of a read: gritty, nerve-racking, sometimes excruciating in its violence and at the same time animated by a bone-deep understanding of its characters' daily lives. . . All Involved has the verbal ardor of a Richard Price novel, the pungent verisimilitude of Sanyika Shakur's riveting 1993 memoir of gang life . . . and the choral energy of a Rashomon-style documentary
Michiko Kakutani, New York Times