[Welcome to the EL Book Introductions series. These posts are all short (<180 words) introductions/reviews of books in the EL library. They focus on telling you what we think will be interesting for you, a college student and English learner, so use them to help you find the right book for you. You can also use the tags to find books about topics you might be interested in.]
Lawless is the story of Tracy Lawless and his family. When Tracy is released from the army after committing war crimes in Iraq, he discovers that his brother has been murdered and he makes it his mission to discover who the killer is. He uses a fake identity to join his brother’s old gang and help them plan a robbery…and then he discovers the truth.
This book is much uglier and crueler than Coward, and it contains more emotionally difficult themes. Tracy’s father was abusive, his brother is corrupted by his environment, and Tracy himself is controlled by both the military and the criminal world. There is a scene where Tracy tortures and old man for information and another where soldiers tell a racist and homophobic story. Be warned before reading.
My two cents: While much of Lawless may be uncomfortable to read, Brubaker and Phillips again tell a difficult story about family. Not as good as Coward, but still a good read.