by A. S. Trotman
Trafford Publishing

"I remember like yesterday when I was twelve years old, she said the only things she ask of me is that I always stand up for myself..."

Chris Cameron grows up in a dysfunctional household amid the grimiest housing project of Norfolk, Virginia. He has a difficult time standing up for himself against bullies. His mother encourages Chris to toughen up and become heartless. She even shows him where she keeps her small .32 caliber revolver—just in case he ever needs it. Taking up his mother's offer, Chris' offense lands him in a detention center at the age of thirteen. Chris learns about the heroin business during his incarceration and determines to create an organized crime gang and, with that, a name change—Killah Cam. Several years later, Killah and his seven-member crew celebrate a five-year milestone in their highly lucrative but very dangerous enterprise. Yet Killah is tired of constantly living on the edge. Chris' intention to retire not only produces unexplained deaths, but also an unanticipated perpetrator.

Rising author A.S. Trotman has taken his experiences and turned them into a tale that is more real than fiction. Trotman's debut novel is replete with contrast and irony. The setting aptly portrays two sides of life in the hood: the hopeless lifecycle of those subjected to " the projects" and the support these people offer to those who find a way to rise above their dismal circumstances but always remember to "keep it real" (i.e. remember their roots). Irony comes into play for those who escape the hood and are seemingly better off, yet deeply entrenched in violence, greed, and lust, as in the case of Trotman's protagonist. His characters are a wonderful blend of one distinctly dynamic (i.e. progressively moving) Killah against a slew of a very static cast who are all tightly woven into a suspenseful narrative with a chilling cliffhanger. Heavily laced with strong language, Trotman's engaging and thought-provoking story is undeniably a must read.

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