Most people have to be content with just one life. This is the tale of a man who led three very different lives.
Nicholas Gambit is an African-American who has nearly graduated from the local university. He is desperate to escape his Kansas City ghetto, and is one of those who may actually make something of himself. Nicholas has gotten on the bad side of Raymond Smalls, a local drug dealer, by beating him up in a fight. Nicholas knows that it is only a matter of time before Raymond kills him, but he refuses to cower, or carry a gun.
One night, his mother is murdered, and Nicholas almost joins her (courtesy of Smalls). In a moment of emotional crisis, Nicholas leaves with a man named Wilkes, who has learned that Nicholas has special "abilities." He is taken to an isolated compound, and along with others, taught to be a trained assassin. This is very high-level, and very serious training, in subjects ranging from self-defense to forensics to recent US foreign policy. In one self-defense class, two men are brought in with orders to kill Nicholas.
Wilkes runs one of those super-secret organizations that is known to very few people. After several years of training, one of Nicholas’ assignments is to protect a man who says he has evidence that the intentions of Wilkes are not exactly benign; that he is creating a private army. Meantime, an African princess named Chelsea is going to college in America. Back home, her father is overthrown, and her parents are killed, in a coup d’etat. Chelsea, who knows her way around subjects like weapons and fighting, takes it upon herself, along with those loyal to her, to kill anyone involved in the coup, no matter how indirectly. Another of Nicholas’ assignments is to stop her.
Wilkes is killed in a gun battle, so Nicholas finds himself as a "man without a country." He travels for a long time, finds love, and eventually enters into his third life, as a preacher.
This is a really interesting story; the author certainly knows what he is doing. There is plenty of action and violence, but it also has heart and emotion, too. Here is a first-rate piece of writing.
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