by Benjamin Randall
Trade Paper: 6" x 9", 262pp.
ISBN: 978-1-59663-580-7, $15.95 Shipping Now
Introductory Special $13.95
Three teenage boys, Anthony, Dwayne, and Eugene, lived on the same side of an imaginary boundary in a Mid-Atlantic city, Their early world view was limited to home, school, the park at Franklin Square, and high expectations made by demanding single mothers who never explained to them the city’s restrictive covenants. Traditional mores made cross-boundary relationships forbidden, but failed to stop their friendship with a teen from the “other side” of Franklin Square.
As the story unfolds, Tony and Dwayne find their first after-school jobs and, by so doing, are suddenly made shockingly aware of the hidden dangers lurking in the shadows of their childhood neighborhoods. Gene, younger and still jobless, watches his friends with envy and begins a solitary exploration of the area, innocently unaware of the danger he is courting.
Riding a series of buses to his job with a parcel delivery service, Tony finds himself tested, on multiple occasions, in ominously threatening and brutal situations outside the familiarity of his home turf.
Dwayne obtains employment as a janitor at a rough-crowd working class bar and dance hall in an area known as “The Block.” Slowly, it occurs to him that the constant presence of policeman might be more significant than he originally supposed. His friendship with one of the club’s dancers attracts the attention and strong disapproval of the club’s management. This friendship will ultimately lead to tragedy involving these childhood friends.
This tragedy forces a “Code of Silence”—a pledge not unlike the “Blue Code of Silence” made by residents of The Block—that is, an unspoken set of rules which protects its members from punishment.
This is a coming-of-age story in which boys, on the cusp of manhood, must lean strongly on family and church for guidance through a bitter and horrifying experience. They must learn to deal with blind hatred and a thirst for revenge … without losing their sense of honor and loyalty.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Benjamin Randall resided in Maryland before his retirement and holds a B.S. in Mathematics. He has also studied chemistry, education, electrical engineering, parasitology and has taken courses covering automated medical equipment. He has worked as a Medical Laboratory Technician as well as in sales and marketing in this field. Mr. Randall also taught high school mathematics. He and his wife Sevim now live in Florida and have five daughters.