Kiki Swinson’s new novel, The Score, is an Urban Classic that reads like a block-buster movie. The action is non-stop, the characters are real and believable, the literary technique is unique for an Urban Classic, and the outcome is unexpected.
Ms. Swinson’s first person narration technique for the main characters, Lauren Kelly and Matthew Connors, allows the reader to be a first-hand witness to the decisions and motivation each character uses to support and justify his or her actions. The reader begins to see all sides of a situation as the characters move from one crisis to another. From this unique stand-point, the reader begins to take sides hoping that their favorite character will win or at least survive in the end.
The author uses flashback to give the reader background knowledge about Lauren Kelly and Matthew Connors. The devastating childhood that each character uniquely suffers gives the reader more evidence to understand the behavior and self-justification that Lauren and Matt use to cheat and scam their way through life. Lauren and Matt have little remorse for their behavior. Should the reader pass judgment on Lauren and Matt? Or forgive them their sins?
Kiki Swinson creates situations and scenarios that resemble Dante’s circles. The opening of the novel puts the characters and the reader in a transitional situation. The Score has been scored. Lauren and Matt are in a midway state between being free or being captured. They are both in danger, but neither the characters nor the reader realizes who is out to get Matt and Lauren. Not knowing who is the puppet-master is part of the discovery that propels the novel forward. The lust, the gluttony, and the avarice that envelope all of the characters in the novel is a recipe for disaster. The anger and sullenness of Lauren, Matt, Lauren’s best friend Daysha, and Matt’s new woman Yancy create the foundation for violence, fraud, and ultimately betrayal. Is there truly a winner in this game? You, the reader, will decide!!