VIGILANTE MC THRILLER
Strong Characters Unleash Their Claws in Suspenseful Psychological Thriller About Vigilantism and Living A Double Life
Vigilantism and gang membership has a certain appeal to some people. Like the beginning of The Godfather when undertaker, Bonasera, can’t find justice from the police against the WASP bullies who raped and nearly murdered his daughter. He realizes that for real justice, he must go to Don Vito Corleone. Some people become vigilantes or appeal to gangs when they feel that the system not only won’t help them, but favor the oppressors.
That’s the situation in Karina Kantas’ suspenseful psychological thriller, Lawless Justice book three of her Outlaw Series. When someone is hurt in an abusive situation or is the victim of a crime from a powerful untouchable villain, then for justice these people go not to the police, but to the Kittnz (sic), an all female biker gang that unsheath their claws and enact swift retribution for those who are oppressed and victimized.
The Kittnz are seen through the eyes of Cass, a journalist coming off an abusive relationship. She returns to her home of Milton Keynes, and during a night out with her sister encounters the gang for the first time. The Kittnz may have the name, but they are more like the Big Cats in town. They are beautiful women who drive their own motorcycles, wear leather jackets, and will pick a fight with anyone in their way. Cass is fascinated by this strange gang, but even more so when they save her life after a confrontation with two men. Cass recuperates in their hideout and is eventually invited to join the gang.
Lawless Justice walks a fine but distinct line with it’s characters. The Kittnz are clearly the protagonists. Their motives are understandable, but their actions are extremely violent. They will defend a battered wife by beating the daylights out of her abusive husband or give a verbal and physical warning to some White Supremacist youths to leave an immigrant family alone.
But sometimes their behaviors spin out of control like when they take retribution so far as to burn an enemy’s house down. They also aren’t above threatening members who want to get out. The book stops short of glorifying The Kittnz’s behavior or making them heroes, but it does go into the roots of why people join gangs or go to them for help. As regular women, they had been oppressed, abused, marginalized, threatened, and dismissed by authority figures so they feel that they have no choice but to strike back at those who harm them and others who are in the same situation.
One of the more intriguing aspects of this book is how expectations are subverted on who joins these gangs. The Kittnz are not high school dropouts, drug addicts, wayward girls in their teens and twenties from broken homes. These are women in their late 20’s-30’s in successful careers and day jobs, everything from doctor, lawyer, psychotherapist, photographer, mechanic, and journalist. By day they work and act as pillars of the community, but by night they vent out their frustrations and commit acts of violence. They have real names and identities, but are known primarily by their gang names: Raven (the leader), Scarlet, Jade, Eve, Storm, and Cass’ new name, Ice. In fact once Ice gets her new moniker, the third person narration refers to her with that name even when she is with family members and acquaintances outside the gang. It is a subtle reminder that the old abused victim, Cass is dead and in her place is Ice, a woman who
seeks action. with the cold detachment that her name suggests.
The book does not gloss over the violent ending that results from such a life. There is plenty of betrayal and second guessing of motives. Some characters get seriously hurt and others don’t make it. The gang life is a violent, angry, short, and ultimately self-destructive one and this book makes no mistake about that.
The Kittnz of Lawless Justice may be badass, but their book is the purrfect blend of action and psychology into the people who are motivated by violence and the actions that they commit.
When Streets of Fire came out in 1984 with the catchphrase “A Rock & Roll Fable“, you would’ve never thought that it was the perfect one for a book that was more than 30 years away from being written. –
Sisterhood, trauma, friendship, family, self-worth, power, respect and reputation are some of the many themes this book deals with, and the author doesn’t forget to induce the reader to reflect upon the role of violence in human nature and the power it has to change someone’s character.
Lawless Justice is a female tale that embraces universal concepts that are in every single one of us and the novel is a powerful page-turner that will have you always wanting for more.