This fast-paced novel of the drug trade, with its irresistible highs and inevitable lows, chronicles the rise and fall of a Washington D. C. small time dealer who longs to live life in the big leagues. While he accomplishes his goal—for a time at least—there’s a catastrophic toll to pay for the people he loves most.
Rick is a purveyor of crack cocaine who winds up in the pen. While incarcerated, he furthers his education by learning everything there is to know about the incredibly more lucrative trade in heroin. By the time he’s paroled, he’s already made the contacts necessary to put a plan in place. It begins with a trip to Los Angeles where he becomes acquainted with the family that will provide his supply. After a week of luxury, lust, and lessons in larceny, he heads back east to set wheels in motion that will result in more money than he’s ever seen and more trouble than he’s ever had.
The author moves his story crisply by relying heavily on dialogue. He does a good job of realistically capturing the street-speech of his characters. There’s a good deal more sex than violence in this tale. However, he attempts to make up for that with a shattering climax both brutal and memorable. Little effort is made to admonish the morality of his protagonist, yet no punches are pulled when it comes to portraying the collateral damage that greed and unlawfulness can exert upon those in the orbit of chronic transgressors. This tale dramatizes how devastating the costs can be when the wages of sin are finally paid.