Boardwalk Kingpins by Salih Israil #KontrolReads

Fourteen-year-old Mike Clark spends his nights peering out at the chaos beneath his
bedroom window in one of Atlantic City’s most notorious housing projects. When a chance
encounter with the neighborhood kingpin, Safi, presents an opportunity to do more than just
watch, Mike jumps on it. Safi takes Mike and his three friends—Qua, KC, and Spank—under the
wing and it isn’t long before the boys are rolling in the money. Things only get better for Mike
when he finds love in Safi’s beautiful but sheltered younger sister, Bree. Everything seems to go
just as Mike wants until a rival dealer launches a murderous attack that leaves Mike, Bree, and Qua alone and running for their lives. They flee to Bree’s cousin in the Bronx and Mike discovers that there was much more to Safi’s taking an interest in him than he could have ever imagined. The news makes Mike even more determined to seek revenge. The question is can he extract revenge and get what’s left of his family out of the drug game without getting arrested or killed in the process.



His father paused before saying, “Now, how did you know I had a gun?”

Mike fidgeted and then remembered what type of body language his father had said that was. He then took a deep breath and exhaled. “I saw you put it under your shirt one night while I was going to the bathroom. I didn’t tell nobody.” His father raised a brow, and he quickly corrected, “I mean, I didn’t tell anyone.”

Mike’s wisdom had always amused his father. His father liked to think it was the product of all the hours he had spent trying to explain things to him. “Good. Whatever happens in our house stays in our house, remember?”

“Yes.” Mike bit his bottom lip and then asked, “Do you shoot people with it?”

“Only when I have to, and sometimes I have to,” he honestly admitted, keeping his vow to never lie to Mike about anything.

“Can I have a gun?” Mike asked.

His father smiled. “I’m hoping you’ll never need one for the same reason I need one. If your life calls for you to have one, you’ll have one. Just remember, it’s a tool to protect yourself and the people you love.”

His father’s raw honesty had always stuck with him, and while he knew his mother prayed he wouldn’t follow in his father’s footstep, the older he got, the more he was pulled into what was going on beneath his window. He knew the streets and the drug game was something he had to try. His love for reading about Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, and Hannibal drove him to find his battlefield and conquer it.


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