Dodgers is not what I would call a mystery/thriller or even a crime novel in the strictest sense. It’s definitely more of a coming-of-age story. East is a young L.A. gang member who has recently failed to protect a house he was in charge of from a police raid. His Uncle, the leader, sends him to Wisconsin along with 3 other gang members, including his younger half brother, to execute a judge who is to be a key witness. He gives them new identities, a nondescript van, some money, and a number to call for further instructions (ask for Abraham Lincoln) and sends them on their way.
Along the journey they take some incredibly stupid risks which I found to be a little unlikely. Those risks lead to a series of events which divide the group and force East to make choices about the kind of person he wants to be and what lengths he is willing to go to become that person.
The characters were, for the most part, quite complex. I was somewhat surprised at their ages. So young… Especially in East’s case. I think he was very young to have the relative maturity he was shown to have. And his brother at only 13… It’s a terrible reality how very, very young many people are who become involved in drugs and gangs.
My main criticism of this book is that the first 75% moved very slowly for me. There were times when I found myself bored and contemplated giving up. I’m glad I didn’t as I really loved the last 25% of the book and its ending.
Thanks to Crown Publishing via NetGalley for providing me with a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.