Kirkus Review of Hoodlum Army!

I am so excited about my Kirkus review! You can read it on the Kirkus website…

Or…why don’t I just paste it here for you all to see?

In this homage to the classic Robin Hood story, two contemporary, young female robbers acquire a cult following when the public learns their thefts are committed to fulfill good intentions.

In Roderick’s rom-com/heist novel, Robin Sherwood and Maryann Forrest meet-cute when they simultaneously stick up the same bank. Maryann robs the bank to finance a “farm-slash-cooking school” for disadvantaged teens, and Robin needs money to buy her parents’ foreclosed farm at auction. After college graduation, Robin thought she’d “marry some nice girl she met at a Pride rally, take up woodworking or league soft-ball, and buy a house in some progressive suburban enclave.” But now she’s tempted to continue robbing banks by a blue-haired hottie who “could be sexy even while talking through a mouth full of hot dog.” Robin crushes on Maryann even though she thinks her partner in crime probably is “straighter than a ruler.” After Maryann stencils in spray paint “DEATH 2 WALL ST. LOVE THE HOODLUM ARMY” on the wall of their second bank job, the women become underground celebrities (and Robin admonishes Maryann for not including a comma after “LOVE”). Spurred on by a fan-started Hoodlum Army Twitter account that quickly garners over 10,000 followers, the two decide to grow “our brand” by stealing not from a bank, but from a person, the notoriously slimy billionaire Larry Lemon. But the FBI is on their trail, as is police detective David Martinez, Maryann’s ex-boyfriend. Pleasures include a fast pace, entertaining dialogue, social commentary, and a certain sweetness. Plus, there’s a merry band of nontraditional characters working with Robin and Maryann to fleece Lemon, a mean, corset-wearing “fan of novelty toilets.” Word choices pleasantly surprise: An agent wears a “happy-dog smile”; David can be “ferrety” in his compulsive gnawing. Roderick weaves multiple storylines into a crazy quilt of fun with an author’s note that states: “CONTENT NOTIFICATION: racism, misogyny, xenophobia, queer antagonism, fat antagonism, trans antagonism, and appearance shaming (there is pushback against all of these). There is also minor gun violence.” And all of it wildly entertains.

A rollicking caper with a smorgasbord of kooky characters.

Kirkus Reviews

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