Broken Allegiance: Mark Young
I pledge allegiance to the gang that I will never divulge their secrets, codes or go against their creed. I will stay loyal and committed to the superiors or leaders of this gang or the consequences will be of my own making. When two young people skirt off to an old winery building for a night of fun with a basket of food and wine with the hope of having an evening to themselves little do they know that this simple act of passion would change their lives forever. A young naive girl and a guy hoping to show her a good time and quite macho, find themselves embroiled in something that would endanger both of their lives. But, within this vineyard another car is coming their way and although the young man warns his girlfriend to stay down and quiet she cannot help but try to see what is happening. Four young men, three sent to carry out the orders from the top and one bound and ready for execution take center stage. The leader Rascal along with two of his gang members to aid in the task, bring the captured and bound victim to face his final moments. I pledge my loyalty to the gang at all costs you might say. Were they smart or were they just pawns in a bigger plan? Following orders they take out a well-respected and seasoned member of their gang named Paco. But why? The end comes for this man and the surge for power grows as powerful as an electric current running through many wires as the body is left there and the two young lovers pray they are unseen.
Tom Kagan works the gang unit and has been asked to protect a young mother and her son that are witnesses to a murder. But, one act would change it all as he relates his position to his boss, states he has the situation under control and is blindsided in the middle of the night by an invasion that proves he has it all under control. Protecting a young mother and her requires time and attention but when the mother jeopardizes the safety of everyone include fast and unexpected decisions need to be made. Relocating her is the first step and dealing with the fall out the second as Tom receives an anonymous tip about the gangland killing. With the help of a reliable dispatcher he and his partner Bill Stevenson team up to get to the bottom of this gruesome murder and decide whether it is one family pitted against another, an inside job within a family or an all out gangland war?
As the scene is handled and the discussion begins we hear Tom’s voice as he and his partner assess what needs to be done, the possible reasons for the killing and the oddities they found that lead them to believe there is much more to the murder than meets the eye. Families against family, hate, fear and terror will rock the streets before all is said and done.
A gang hit but who ordered it and why? An investigation on both by the police and by gang members learning who ordered the hit, where it came from and whose loyalty and allegiance was broken. . When a young gang member named Gato receives a coded message to take out a family member what he decides to do will change the course of events and put others besides him in danger. From prison they rule, they decide and they play judge and jury and from the streets of Santa Rosa Tom and his partner Bill Stevenson hoped to create their own justice. Families that have their own colors, fights that they have to protect their turf, money, drugs and prostitution rings and no qualms about killing control reaching their ultimate goal: POWER . When murder is the verdict are you bond to go along? Where will your allegiance be if you belong to this gang? They are your family: I pledge my allegiance or I die! The really frightening part are the guards, the officials and even some police working with the gangs from prison and giving them unconditional power as we even meet Hulk the head of the Investigations team in Pelican Prison itself. A man whose network is wide and whose ability to hear and process information might change things but for what side?
When Rascal is ordered to kill his respected friend Paco he never hesitates, tries not to look back and learns that Ghost powerful man ordered the hit from prison. Why? Did the family sanction the hit or did he act alone? Tom is relentless and manages to become the lead on the case much to the doubt of his boss. But, when things start to move you can hear and feel his determination, his will to find out the answers even though it is taking its toll on his personal life and relationship with his wife Sara who seems to be the target of someone unknown. When Tom receives a set of pictures and his wife’s head is circled letting him know someone is watching her just what will he do and how will he stop what someone is warning him could happen? Is there a link between Tom and Ghost or any other gang members? What is the message he is receiving and why is this happening as the author takes us deep inside the prison to learn just what power these gang members wield, their network and to what lengths they will go to in order to strike.
Diane Phillips is a prosecutor heading Vertical Gang Prosecution Unit and she and Tom have a history and connecting with him to help solve Paco’s murder and being a friend might prove interesting in more ways than one. The Nuestra Familia: How far does their power reign? When Rascal is injured and demands respect from his own members, what happens that lands him in the hospital and what he decides to do will definitely surprise readers.
With protection on its way and his confession on tape Rascal thought he might be home free or at least safe from execution. But, the family is stronger and the loyalties run deep within their blood and his fate was sealed way before.
When Maria Sanchez meets with her husband DJ in prison the message she is given makes her shudder. To disobey his orders and what comes next would not only be in violation of the code she took and her allegiance to the family but would guarantee her fate. Documents in hand and the message clearly sent she and her daughter are charged with taking care of a family member who everyone believes is a traitor. But, how do you kill your husband’s brother? When is that fine line drawn that it is so thin that lines might be crossed and loyalties changed? Paco is dead, his murder not sanctioned by the Familia and the truth placed where it belongs and the end result you just won’t believe. Tom and his partner working the case and Special Services Unit Head Garcia map out their strategy but in the end will it work?
Deaths are adding up and when tragedy hits someone close to him and a gang member is eliminated you begin to wonder just how wide the net of this family is, why they are given such latitude when in jail and why prison officials agree to their demands you might say.
Family members pitted against their own and told to take out their uncles and nephews using loyalty and allegiance as the reason and instant death if you don’t comply. Female members of the family forced to set up murders, meetings to learn the whereabouts of their mark no one is really safe and the end result when Ghost manages to get his freedom is more than frightening. Blood in…Blood Out: family blood goes both ways: Who wins? Everyone winds up in prison at some time. Their fate is sealed!
Families in danger and Tom has to protect his own and that of his partner but will they be safe and will the trail lead Ghost to find them? Choosing to leave the family Mikio and his nephew Gato place themselves in the hands of Tom and the police can they be trusted? The ending has far to go before the final fate is revealed as Ghost is almost like a specter that seems transparent or a faint or shadowy trace that can hardly be seen. Would you murder to become a gang member? Would you chance the death penalty? How far will Tom let his anger and rage carry him before he gets pulled off the case? Author Mark Young helps readers get a true understanding of gang mentality, gang warfare and what it means to Pledge your Allegiance to the Family. Prison means nothing to these people just a safe haven to conduct business. Fact or Fiction: does not matter what does is that the author has based this fiction novel on real life events that are happening right now. When those in charge sell us out what are we supposed to do? Tom Kagan created by author Mark Young reminds us that some detectives cannot be changed, bought and there are those that live to protect those that cannot defend themselves. Will gangs ever be eliminated and stopped? I doubt it but maybe stronger laws to prevent what is so vividly and clearly described in this novel should be instituted to with heavier penalties.
An ending so powerful and so frightening you won’t know the final outcome and who lives and who meets the next gang member’s bullet until you turn the final pages of the book and read what twist the author has in store for readers.
Ghost seems invisible, Gato disappeared and his uncle made his own escape. With DJ the so called mastermind thinking that everything was in place, the murders he order completed what happens will let readers know and gang members too that the best laid plans are not always carried out to the letter of what you think might be the law and the end result will prove just what the word allegiance means to some and not to others. I pledge allegiance to the code of honor of the gang and will never defy them! Watch and learn what happens when they think you do. An ending so powerful, fast paced and filled with twists, turns and one huge surprise. Broken Allegiance: What’s your definition! A Must read for teens, gang members, law enforcement officers, lawyers and prison officials to get the straight talk about what really lies behind the mentality of those that think that Allegiance Means Honor!
Fran Lewis: reviewer