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Thugbook – CJ West

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Thugbook by CJ West

Publisher: 22 West Books

Mug shots are often shown to victims of crimes and their families to help identify a suspect in a crime or hopefully bring down a killer. But, what about a website that you, the citizen can contribute to by sending photos of people that you think are in gangs, killers or have committed crimes? Would you help the police by downloading pictures of gang members and criminals? Would you take job as a protector? One man named Blaine Stevens created Thugbook along with another man named Jones, which is an online site where his people can download pictures of gang members and dangerous people in their neighborhood. People use this site and click on different maps to find these people and hopefully help the police make arrests. Thousands of photos are processed daily hoping to convince the police to use their service to catch these criminals. Unfortunately, the success rate of trying to convince the police has not been successful. Even with one member of the team scheduling a demonstration no one really showed up and their stock answers that they could do better and did not need their help wasted the time of a member of their team.

When one of their team working security pays the ultimate price for taking these pictures and the end result is quite startling as no one knew, including the gang called the Reds, that he was part of their team. Spotted on his job taking pictures this man wound up dead at his job when someone called Gman spotted him taking these pictures. But, what would happen to their business if these photectors stopped taking pictures? Photos pasted up in the rest of the country helped reduce crime but for some reason not in their counties. Their solution was to try and help the police find out who was using their site for the opposite reason targeting the thugs and taking them down.

Hidden within the computer of one of the major players is a website that no one will ever detect. Money transferred for the deaths of these criminals and some more murders waiting to happen. Blues killed and the Reds seem to be winning the war. When a police officer comes front and center with this group he learns a hard lesson from them. Threats do not work and they stand their ground when he presents an offer they will never accept.

Jones is the second founder of this group and is hiding something from his partner and group. One person knows what is behind the money and where is it generated from. One person has a relationship with the gang but just who is it and why? Someone is taking money for hits on the Blues to eliminate the competition. Someone is more dangerous than the gang members.

Samantha Tierney is one new hire that just might have her own agenda. Part of the photo-processing group filled with only hot and good-looking women, this one mole, you might say is doing more than just clicking away and processing photos. What happens will definitely make you wonder whether anyone really wants these criminals off the streets and to what lengths these young men will go to make money. Author CJ West brings to light many issues that cities around the world face each day. Drugs, drug wars, gang violence, fighting over territory and turf wars and murder. Why wouldn’t the police want to intervene and use their service? Which players want to stop crime and which are doing it the love of money and greed? Will the police close them down? Watching the violence on television alerting them to the police presence what happens next was next unexpected.  An ending with a definite surprise twist that will leave the reader wondering just who will come out ahead and own Thugbook. The police try to take down the site and the end result just might not be what everyone expects. Will Blaine and Jones allow their business to fold? What about Dale and his goal to try and get the police to buy into the website? An explosive ending that will send many of the players in different directions and one man thinking he owns it all. The end result you will have to learn for yourself when you read this well written story filled with twists, turns and surprises.

Sometimes a picture is better than a thousand words and sometimes the click of a camera is all you need to reveal the hidden truth behind so many lies. Author CJ West leaves the reader hoping that he will bring back these characters again. There are many unanswered questions and many lose ends that are not tied up making this a really great story with room for a sequel. Thugbook: Snap: Click: Your Famous.

Reviewer: Fran Lewis

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