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Boy Kills Man

Matt Whyman
"Nothing is more unsettling in this world than a kid with a gun . . ."
Boy Kills Man – picture

Nothing is more unsettling in this world than a kid with a gun . . .

On the streets of Medellín, Colombia, actions speak louder than words, and the rule of the bandidos is the only law worth listening to.

Like most kids of their age, Shorty and Alberto work for their local cartel. They run cigarettes, offer protection . . . and occasionally assassinate someone. The work is tough, and dangerous, but the boys are commanding respect like they’ve never known, and the money’s pretty good too.

But then one day Alberto disappears. And Shorty realises that he is never coming back. A gangster’s life is cheap, and when revenge can be bought for only a few pesos, everyone has their price . . .

Publication Date: Thu 3 Jul 2014
ISBN Paperback: 9781471403965
ISBN Ebook: 9781471403972

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Author

Matt Whyman

Matt Whyman is the author of several critically-acclaimed novels including BOY KILLS MAN and THE SAVAGES, as well as the bestselling comic memoir, WALKING WITH SAUSAGE DOGS. Matt is the former agony uncle for Bliss magazine and part of the team on Radio 1's weekly advice show, The Surgery. He lives in West Sussex with his wife and four children. Find out more about Matt at www.mattwhyman.com and on Twitter: @mattwhyman

Extract

Alberto and I had always steered clear of trouble. We left that kind of thing to the rival gangs, let them square up to each other while we got on with living. Now my friend had landed me with little choice. I didn't want him to think I was a coward, just as I hated the idea that Galán might be laughing behind our backs. The plan we cooked up seemed like a quick and simple way to save face. I wasn't going in alone, after all. Alberto would be with me every step of the way. You should've seen the pair of us, crossing to his store with our shoulders squared and faces set. I closed in on the door first, mainly to hide the fact that Alberto was clutching a baseball bat. He told me he had borrowed it from a neighbour in our block. I figured that meant he had stolen it, and was lucky not to have been caught. In this city, a bat was for protection only. 'Are you sure about this, Alberto?' 'Keep moving, man,' I heard him hiss, sounding supercharged. 'Don't stop now.' We were here to do business, not run stupid errands, and if Galán didn't see reason then we would make a mess of his store. Privately I didn't think it would come to that. I figured he might even admire us for standing up for ourselves, and agree to the wage we deserved. What we hadn't considered was that Galán would have company: some skinny guy with his hood up and his back to us, facing him across the counter. It was cooler inside, out of the sun, but it didn't stop my skin from prickling. The contrabandista looked up at me without moving a muscle, which seemed odd and even alarming. Then I saw that the skinny guy was holding a switchblade to the soft part of Galán's throat, and I froze just like him.