East Bay author Aya de Leon’s new novel, Uptown Thief, is a Robin Hood story made contemporary. It revolves around Marisol Rivera, an abuse survivor who runs a Lower East Side health clinic for disadvantaged women. And to pay those bills, she also runs a high-end escort service for New York City’s richest businessmen that gives her the perfect opportunity to rob them. But, of course, things don’t run smoothly forever. The suspenseful plot involves a sexy ex-cop, a powerful thug, and a mega-billionaire. And, anyone familiar with de Leon’s work can anticipate that the narrative has social justice inclinations — not least, putting a powerful woman of color at the center of a deadly heist. There will be a release party for Uptown Thief on On July 30, from 3–5 p.m., at La Pena Cultural Center (3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley) featuring a reading and interview with de Leon and a performance by musician Vixen Noir.