cover image Thug Lovin'

Thug Lovin'

Wahida Clark, . . Grand Central, $14.99 (342pp) ISBN 978-0-446-17809-9

Back in the hood but movin' on up, Tasha and Trae Macklin have reformed somewhat but are still in urban grit mode. In Clark's latest street lit, her fourth novel in the Thug series, the couple's moved to L.A. although Trae briefly returns to the East Coast for some revenge killing after his cousin Shaheem's murdered. Three years later, Tasha has three children and it's all good except Trace opens up a flashy nightspot, Club New York. To do this, he makes a connection with Charles Li, a Chinese mobster, and his dangerous daughter, Charli. Then Sabeerah, a devious young witness to Trae's New Jersey crime, moves to L.A. and tries to blackmail Trae. In another plot line Det. Rick Bryant, the couple's neighbor, gets involved with Kyra, Tasha's old friend, whose hubby, Marvin, is using drugs. Clark, who started her writing career while incarcerated, depicts Tasha's travails and Kyra's problems with a brutally honest squint, but it's hard to care about extra thuggy Trae. (Aug.)