He set out to be the good son, but the streets had a different plan.
Born to one of the city’s most notorious crime families, Shai Clark has always managed to be a good kid. A college hoops star, Shai shunned the world that his father had created and focused on his dreams of going pro. Tommy, Shai’s trigger-happy older brother, is next in line for the throne and rules under his father through brute force. But Poppa has bigger plans for Shai.
The situation soon turns ugly when Poppa is murdered and Tommy is removed from the equation. Suddenly Shai finds himself at the head of his father’s empire and the streets are thrown into chaos. It is then that he must decide whether to pursue his own dreams or put his father’s affairs in order. Unable to sit idly by while the Clarks’ underworld empire is pillaged, Shai takes up his father’s mantle and brings his game to the streets. He quickly learns that there are two sides to every coin, and the streets hold no mercy for the weak.
Hoodlum chronicles three generations of Trinidadian immigrants and their rise to power in the New York City heroin trade.
A K’wan classic.
From Publishers Weekly
K’Wan’s gritty latest (after 2004’s Street Dreams) follows the fortunes of two brothers whose ghetto mafia family crumbles under the weight of murder and disloyalty. Tommy Clark runs the streets of Harlem with an iron fist (though his dad, Poppa, who’s been “laying his gangsta down for thirty-something years,” is still king), and he’s poised to inherit the family “business.” But then Tommy’s younger brother, Shai, turns up, kicked out of college for betting on the basketball games he starred in. Though Poppa discourages Shai from street life, his stubborn, competitive kid has other plans, and pretty soon Shai’s hustling the streets with fearless friend Swan and getting busy with local girl Honey while Tommy and Poppa run a risky heroin side operation, encouraging animosity within opposing underworld factions. When Poppa is murdered, it paves the way for the brothers to exact their retaliation in a spray of bullets, while crooked cops close in on Tommy for an execution-style murder. With every page soaked with street-smart vernacular, K’Wan’s fourth novel delivers another aggressive, bloody portrait of unrepentant urban outlaws.