Not so fast, Romeo.
Before Toby can utter “A little mood music please,” visitors arrive and the teens seek cover behind the crumbling winery walls, fearing for their own lives as they watch a gang member's cold-blooded execution.
Running is out of the question. Might as well show themselves and beg for a bullet to the head - or worse. If they're quiet enough, still as the corpse cooling on the ground outside, they might survive.
Should they report the murder?
Toby says no. The reach of a gang's hierarchy is infinite. Charlotte's gut screams at the injustice. "Shot him like he was . . . nothing," she says. But, does she have the courage to call the police?
Come on, gang members killing gang members? Red against blue. Turf wars. The Mexican Mafia hitting Nuestra Familia. Shootings and stabbings and mutilations.
Ought to be a blessing, right?
But the order to take out Javier “Paco” Valdez, one of the highest ranking NF soldados on the streets - to take his wind - seems to have come from inside the walls of California’s Pelican Bay State Prison. From one of his own, an aging gang member who goes by the name of Ghost.
It’s up to Detective Tom Kagan, with the aid of gang expert Hector Garcia, to connect the dots and cement the hit on Paco to its source.
Tom Kagan isn't new to the callousness and brutality of gang violence. He's lived with the resulting heartache for ten years, since the day a black Monte Carlo low rider t-boned his wife's SUV and killed his son. The loss has caused a strain on his marriage and tested his ability to function within Santa Rosa’s Organized Crime and Intelligence Section. Now Kagan finds himself in the position of having to protect the very gang members he despises - including Mikio, the one known NF leader clever enough to walk away from the gang and remain alive.
Mark Young once again deftly flexes his writing muscles as he moves readers from one pulse-pounding assault to the next. The author’s law enforcement background with the Federal Organized Crime Task Force charged with identifying and prosecuting prison gang leaders adds credence to his tale. I knew several chapters into BROKEN ALLEGIANCE that this was going to be a five-star review. The book is artfully written, finely-tuned and beautifully presented. Young’s vivid descriptions transport readers to the streets of Santa Rosa to safe houses to a lone cabin on Lake Tahoe, while believable dialogue and well-developed characters hold them captive to the book’s conclusion. I’d recommend BROKEN ALLEGIANCE to any reader who loves a good, gut-wrenching, page-turning thrill-ride.
BROKEN ALLEGIANCE: A TOM KAGAN NOVEL is available through Amazon (in both paperback and Kindle) and other fine booksellers. Author Mark Young was a police officer with the Santa Rosa Police Department in California for twenty-six years. He’s an award-winning journalist and a Vietnam combat veteran. His Gerrit O'Rourke novels (OFF THE GRID and FATAL eMPULSE) have reached Amazon’s top 100 lists, while his debut novel REVENGE hit #1 for bestselling mystery/suspense police procedurals.