reviewed Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley

Nightcrawling (2022, Knopf Incorporated, Alfred A.) 4 stars

A raw Oakland story

5 stars

Nightcrawling tells the story of a young woman -- a girl, really -- who is thrust into sex work trying to make rent, and ends up being trafficked by cops. The story is set in Oakland, and inspired by the real-life scandals of sex trafficking by OPD officers.

The story is told from the point of view of Kiara, the victim/heroine. We see how easy it can be to be swept in by bad circumstances when you're living in poverty, with no support systems, always on the edge of homelessness or worse. Kiara is crushed by a broken and cruel system, and by the very people who are supposedly there to "protect and serve", but still she is able to retain her humanity, her soul.

It is astounding that Mottley is only 20 years old herself. Can't wait to see how her writing evolves.