Ryan Gattis’ historical fiction, crime novel “All Involved” is a story of the race riots in Los Angeles after the acquittal of the officers who beat Rodney King in 1992. Gattis weaves an interlocking story of lives connected to the rioting from gang members to family members to the victims and even the fire fighters and frontline health workers.
The book is broken up into different parts. Each part is a different person’s story. I loved the unique way that Gattis tied the stories together and where each person’s story took the book down different unexpected paths. It was a very clever way of telling the story from each narrator’s perspective.
This book was hard to stomach. There were cold-blooded murders. There were retribution attacks on enemy gang’s family members. There was drug use. There were robberies. There was a lot of other senseless gun violence and arsons. The author uses some of the narrators to tell the story of Los Angeles and the warring gangs and opposing people groups all huddled in the sprawling neighborhoods of Los Angeles. There are so many different gang members and so few police officers to maintain the peace. The author estimated that every 20-30 years these types of race-related rioting occurs in Los Angeles. His next prediction was that similar rioting would occur by the year 2022, and just last summer in 2020 countless Black Lives Matter clashes between protesters and law enforcement.
This is an important book that gives much context to some of the rising tensions in Los Angeles and is still meaningful in our society today.