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Cake

Terri Schlichenmeyer | 6/25/2009, 5 p.m.

Whom do you trust?

It's an easy question, the answer of which is probably your Mama, family, maybe a friend or two.

But what if you had little-or-no family and you knew nobody in your new hometown? Whom do you trust?

In the new book "Cake" by D, you can't trust anyone. Seems like they're all out to end your life.

It's been six months, but you can't stop thinking about it. You never wanted to kill that girl in Brooklyn, but you had to. It was kill or be killed, for sure, and when it was done, you split. You wished you could've stopped to see if your boys, Will and Chief, were okay, but you had to go.

Your life depended on it.

Long ago, somebody in social services handed you a folder and you discovered you had a third cousin in Atlanta, so you're squatting on his sofa for now. You got a few G's stashed away, an apartment around the corner that will be ready soon, and you're registered for school.
College. A new life. No more killing.

That cousin ain't the brightest boy you've ever met. He's a small-time dealer with big-time ideas. He doesn't think things through, but you can't keep your mouth shut. You hear yourself giving him advice on a deal. He makes plans to meet the dealer at a hotel and he asks you to come along.
Bad idea.

The four men in the hotel's Dumpster probably had no idea what hit them. You knew they were there before you lifted the lid. Their throats slashed, they were piled up according to size. Suddenly, college seems like a million miles away. You high-tail back to your cousin's crib and find two men, twins, who make your cousin an offer.

But this isn't just about drugs. It can't be. Someone's trying to... something. You can't figure it out, but it ain't right.

The only thing that is right is the woman you met at the park. Her lips are soft like a baby's bottom and she's smart. You don't want to drag her in on this, so you keep your cool around her.
Life for you is not a piece of cake right now.

Hoo-wee.

Here's my advice. Stop everything right now, go out, and get this book. I don't care what you're doing, just get this book.

"Cake" is gritty as a shattered tooth on your tongue, sharp as razor-wire, brutal as a psychotic weight-lifting bully, with an ending that's going to make you scream. The narrator of this novel doesn't have a name, he just says "you", which puts the reader right smack in the middle of the action. Although this book definitely isn't for everybody, I loved every word in it.

A sequel to 2007's "Got," this can easily be read as a standalone. If you don't care about "language" but you do care about a story that'll body-slam you from start to finish, grab this book. "Cake" is a novel you'll eat up.