Review: The Hustle by Elizabeth Roderick


The Hustle by Elizabeth Roderick
Published by Limitless Publishing 2016 (E-Book)
330 Pages

Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.

Liria is nineteen, homeless, and addicted to heroin… 

She’s also determined to not end up dead—like her mother. But every time she tries to get clean, on her feet, and back on the employment train, everything falls apart. This time is different. This time, she knows there are only two choices—recovery or death. Once she gets clean, though, her life ends up even rockier than before. 

Desperate for help, Liria goes to the one person she can count on for a safe place to stay and regular meals—her father, Cyryl Czetski. However, she soon learns Cyryl isn’t her real father, and he wants a very different kind of relationship. Liria ultimately rejects his advances and ends up on the streets yet again, this time working in an illegal strip club. 

Finally taking control of her life, Liria lands a job in a Vegas nightclub, where she meets Arty—the woman of her dreams. 

Arty is beautiful, funny, and rich. But when other nightclub employees turn up dead—including Liria’s best friend, Lee—Liria suspects the business might be a front for something far more sinister. 

When Arty reveals Liria’s life is also in danger, she promises to keep her safe. But Arty’s acting strangely, and seems to know too much about the mysterious deaths. Is she really trying to save her, or is she holding her hostage, using her as a pawn in a game Liria doesn’t understand? 

Liria thought she was used to always second guessing everyone’s intentions. That’s how life is. But if the drugs don’t ruin her, The Hustle will…


I'm always looking for books that push me out of my comfort zone. When I found out about The Hustle I knew that this was the kind of book that would do just that, judging by the themes that I knew would be in it from reading it's description. I went in with a clear mind, not really knowing what to expect.

Liria is nineteen and addicted to heroin. After the death of her mother to drugs and after being kicked out of her friend, Lee's house she seeks refuge with her father Cyryl, who is determined to get her off the drugs. However, she soon learns that Cyryl isn't her real father and wants a different kind of relationship with her. Not reciprocating his feelings, Liria runs off and soon finds herself working in an illegal strip club. After learning some devastating things about her new job she runs off again and is soon working in a Las Vegas club, where she meets Arty. When employees of the club turn up dead, Liria is soon caught up in something much more sinister.

As much as I wanted to like this book, due to it's unique concept, it just fell of the mark for me. I found it to be rather confusing and also very dark. The themes of drugs, murder and hustling in the book were rather graphic and at times made me just want to stop reading. I can understand why the author wanted to showcase them in this light, but I just couldn't really get to grips with it. I also felt like the sex featured within did get a little bit too over the top at times. Don't get me wrong, I'm no prude, but with some of the sex scenes I started to feel rather uncomfortable reading. I also found the scenes between Liria and Cyryl to be very off putting. Although I slightly understand why she had to do what she did, it just didn't seem right that she was doing the deed with a man who she'd thought was her father for so long. 

Despite this, I did find Liria to be a tragic heroine. When reading I was just thinking 'can't this girl catch a break'. Every time you thought she was going to get clean, she fell off the wagon. Which did disappoint me, I'll admit. However, after learning more about her back story as the book went on I did come to terms with why she was the way she was. Her relationship with Arty was a strange one. As much as I wanted her to find happiness, I knew Arty wasn't the one. I also felt like their relationship was more of a sexual one. Like every time they were together it would end up in sex. I couldn't warm to Arty was character, neither and knew something was dodgy about her from the moment she entered the story. 

The Hustle was a rather disappointing read and I was really upset about it, as I really wanted to like it as previously stated. If you like books about drugs, sex and crime then you will like this, but it just wasn't for me.


Author Bio

Elizabeth Roderick grew up as a barefoot ruffian on a fruit orchard near Yakima, in the eastern part of Washington State. After weathering the grunge revolution and devolution in Olympia, Washington, Portland, Oregon and Seattle, she recently moved to a small cluster of houses amidst the vineyards of California’s Central Coast.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and worked for many years as a paralegal and translator. She is a musician and songwriter, and has played in many bands, rocking some instruments she doesn’t even know the real names for, but mostly guitar, bass and keyboards.

Elizabeth writes novels for young adults and adults; short stories; and memoir which is way more interesting than it should be. Her stories are about love, death, gang warfare, and madness; her characters tend to be of the type that society generally shuns: addicts, convicts, and the mentally ill. She believes if people get to know these characters in stories and in real life, they’ll find them more likeable than they originally thought.

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