Tattoos on the Heart meets Ghettoside in this gripping true story about a botched gang murder set in the invisible economy of LA's immigrant street vendors
Baby-faced teen Giovanni Macedo is desperate to find belonging in one of LA’s most predatory gangs, the Columbia Lil Cycos—so desperate that he agrees to kill an undocumented Mexican street vendor. The vendor, Francisco Clemente, had been refusing to give in to the gang’s shakedown demands. But Giovanni botches the hit, accidentally killing a newborn instead. The overlords who rule the Lil Cycos from a Supermax prison 1,000 miles away must be placated and Giovanni is lured across the border where, in turn, the gang botches his killing. And so, incredibly, Giovanni rises from the dead, determined to both seek redemption for his unforgivable crime and take down the gang who drove him to do it.
With The Rent Collectors, Jesse Katz has built a teeth clenching and breathless narrative that explicates the difficult and proud lives of undocumented black market workers who are being extorted by the gangs and fined by the city of LA—in other words, exploited by two sets of rent collectors.