cover image Eve


K'wan, . . St. Martin's Griffin, $14.95 (326pp) ISBN 978-0-312-33310-2

In this juicy, hard-hitting hip-hop romp, K'wan (Hoodlum ) paints an almost too raw, black-and-white portrait of Eve Panelli, a banging little Harlem outlaw who's had to grow up fast since the murder of her parents—Joe-Joe, her Italian-Irish dad, a "soldier" in an Italian mob family, and Shanice, her black mother. At 17, Eve feels like a $5 whore when she gets out of juvenile detention after taking the heat for two fellow Harlem gangstas, Felon, whom she's secretly sweet on, and Butter, his closest road dawg. Felon loves Eve, but he's also a hustler who'd "rather be cold and rich than warm and broke" when he begins dealing with Carlo DeNardi, the degenerate son of the mobster who offed Eve's parents. Aside from her cool Uncle Bobby, a vet in a wheelchair, Eve's true "fam" becomes the Twenty-Gang sistaz. The brutal murder of Cassidy, Eve's best home girl and crime partner, leads to Eve's heart-stopping opportunity for revenge and a thrilling conclusion. Author tour. (Mar.)