Thursday, March 25, 2010

Relapse-Nikki Turner

Nikki Turner
One World (Ballantine), Apr. 20 2010, $14.00
ISBN 9780345511058

Her middle class father Sterling raised Beijing Lee as a single parent. However, she visited her mother Willabee and her older sister Paris who Sterling knew lived on the other side of the track and in her dad’s mind they were riding the train the wrong way. He is proven right when ignoring her conscience Paris sells ten year old Beijing to Chimp so she can buy crack. Teenager Mike intrudes on the sale and using a knife kills Chimp before warning Paris to take care of her sister better or else.

Years pass and Beijing has become a hotel concierge insuring the wealthy receive the best treatment. In Vegas, she thinks she may be in love with Lootchee, who treats her nice and gives her luxurious presents. However, he also brings with him a dark side that places Beijing in trouble even as her maternal family causes havoc in her life. However, all hell breaks loose withher life is in danger; Beijing thinks back to her last rescue and knows she could use a hero again just as Mike known as Stash is back.

This is a superb street lit tale that contains a powerful cast especially the heroine within an exciting story line. The tale grips readers immediately when the reader realizes Paris is selling her ten years old sister because the addiction supersedes everything else. That hold on the audience never lets up as her “loved ones” place Beijing in jeopardy while a late rivalry between Lootchee and Stash leave fans wanting more. This is a strong look at surviving the streets where a Relapse is the magnetic pull of your family.

Harriet Klausner

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