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Chasing Destiny

Dickey's (Genevieve) latest melodrama rides with Los Angeles's rough-and-tumble motorcycle crowd and has his signature sultry prose and African-American cast, but presents a surprisingly harsh attitude toward female characters. Billie (aka Ducati), a beautiful and self-assured biker, finds herself between the rubber and the road when her unemployed lover, Keith, confesses he's returning to his wife, Carmen, for the sake of their daughter-right after Billie informs him she's pregnant with his child. Carmen, a shady lawyer, will stop at nothing to reconcile her marriage, offering Billie money to vamoose and even threatening her own daughter, 15-year-old Destiny. Destiny, however, has her own problems: angry at her parents for separating, she rebels by sneaking out with the wrong crowd. When she's drugged, robbed and raped, a humiliated Destiny decides to run away rather than face her parents. By midnovel, Carmen, Billie and Keith are, yes, chasing Destiny and deploying dirty tricks to get what they want. With an emphasis on vulgarity and violence, the book is lively, but disappointing: rather than showcase what brings women together, Dickey hyperbolizes what tears them apart, advancing a caricature of women as troubled souls who, when hurt, hurt others.

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