If gang member Travis has one goal it is to be the biggest and baddest gang leader on the gritty mean streets of Baltimore. And he’s got just the right hustling skills to make this happen, especially after he gets his hands on some Colombian Devils Breath, a particular desired brand of cocaine.
However, there is local drug dealer Isaac who just might thwart Travis’s “high” ambitions. Travis has a closely held secret and Isaac knows all about it. If this secret is revealed Travis could lose his life and livelihood.
And then there is Shannon who is involved with both Travis and Isaac, and a woman her own desires and ambitions.
The three main characters spend their days and nights filled with dealing and drugging. They are both violent and victims of violence. They spend their time at less than wholesome places, including a local strip club.
And every day, they wake up wondering if it will be their last.
The plot zigs, then zags. And it twists and turns like an overturned steaming plate of pasta. It’s not exactly for the faint of heart but it is compelling.
The three main characters could be cardboard cut outs but are richly detailed. Supporting characters are also multi-dimensional.
Albanese expresses his novels like a director. He’s a very visual writer. I think fans of the TV show “The Wire” would appreciate his work.