Nola Céspedes wants a real story to work on, not the society fluff that her editor at the New Orleans Times-Picayunens keeps giving her. Problem is she sometimes can’t rein her temper in. Even when handed a great story, a feature about sex offenders now off the grid because of all the dislocations after Hurricane Katrina, Nola initially back talks and tells her boss it’s not real news. She changes her mind and throughout the book she is putting her first serious piece of journalism together, interviewing offenders, victims, and professionals to create a wide-ranging article she hopes will be her ticket out.In spite of her occasional temper Nola is a warm and very appealing first person narrator with a unique perspective on the city she both loves and hates. Nola’s mother escaped Cuba and followed a man from Miami to New Orleans only to have him leave when she got pregnant. New Orleans doesn’t have much of a Cuban American community and being poor Nola grew up in its projects. With her job at the paper Nola can now afford to live in a nicer part of the city, but she often can’t relate to the lives of her wealthy girlfriends and, ironically considering the story she is writing, she engages in some very risky sexual activity. Though she’s a straight talker, Nola still has secrets. Lots of information about New Orleans and Sex Crimes is woven almost (but not quite) seamlessly into the narrative, and the lively colors, flavors and sounds of New Orleans are so vividly described the city practically vibrates to life on the page. The story is fascinating and suspenseful, with a twist at the end I didn’t see coming. A couldn't put it down book.