Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio
In Bad Company by Ke DeSol is a beautiful narrative that follows one woman’s fight to keep her family safe. Max had grown up with a unique love for the Harley Davidson motorbike, a love that drove her to join a group of bikers with the same passion, a group that became an extended family to her. But when she is betrayed and her family threatened, she knows that a sense of belonging to a group can’t come between her loyalty to the ones she deeply loves. Can she protect her family from gang violence and dirty politics? This is what the story is all about.
The writing is atmospheric and, from the very start, the reader gets a strong idea of the personality of the protagonist — an outgoing person with a wonderful love for kids and bikes. It doesn’t take long before readers are introduced to the fun activities related to the bikers’ meet, an event where bikers can meet up and buy parts. But this is quickly followed by a shooting that ends up with Hemi Latu getting hurt. The search for the hospital where he lands and the fear that he could be dead add a strong emotional element to the story that gives it drama. This emotional intensity doesn’t waver as the narrative progresses with the conflict becoming more complicated and heightened. In Bad Company is a wonderful story that combines a strong sense of survival with family values and a woman’s love to create a realistic story filled with drama and lessons. Ke DeSol writes beautifully and succeeds in connecting to readers instantly. In Bad Company feels real and the humanity of the characters is well-explored.
Reviewed by M. I. Walsh
In Bad Company by KeDeSol, is brave and clear-eyed, and poignant. Told from a woman’s point of view, the story provides a unique insider experience of biker culture. Sure, it demystifies that world but it also links it solidly to the larger world. Biker clubs have their own rules and seemingly live in a parallel system, but they are still subject to those human elements which defy all ‘rules’: ego clashes, power plays, aggression, the vulnerability of belonging (or not), the bonds of companionship, family, and love.
It is through the eyes of Max, the heroine of the story, that we see the slow but steady build up of tribal tensions between two major biker groups. She is powerful in her own right, and wilful, but like all heroes/heroines, subject to the larger forces of destiny and politics. As she tracks the story of the ‘gang-war’, we see her fighting for the things she holds dear in the world, a world which has not treated her kindly, and where she has many times been misunderstood and maligned. Yet Max defies all these, rises above them. She finds nourishment and joy in what others would see as only a bare field, and she has the resilience and strength to excavate that field to build a sense of warmth and home.
Rarely does a book combine the elements of good storytelling with the ability to credibly reveal sections of the community that are not easily accessible. KeDeSol as the author does this fluidly, with no sensationalism, and no sense of the gawking bystander. The book is told matter of factly by an author who is confident in her knowledge, material and her skills as a writer.