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December 24, 2012

RESPECT THE JUX by Frank C. Matthews


Based on a true story, this novel was written in prison by the man who lived it.  In Jamaica...Cat learned the art of the "Jux", robbing people by studying their everyday movements.  By the age of ten, he had his first gun.  At 15 he committed his first murder.

In NYC...he created The Order and taught his crew how to pass off the perfect "Jux."  Robbers, dealers, pushers and thugs. And raked in millions. Then Cat was betrayed - by one of his own men.

In Miami...he sets up a new operation. Bigger game, higher stakes.  The targets are prime, the pay off huge, and the parties are off the chain. But now, more than ever, Cat has to play by his own rules: Never trust a thief. Never get caught. And always...Respect the "Jux."

"Are you ready to journey into the folds of The Order of Thieves?"
"I am."
Cat picked the chain up from the table. "This chain symbolizes your birth into The Order."
Banit leaned forward so Cat could place the chain around his neck.  Then Cat picked up the Bible and held it out.
"Place your hand on the Bible and repeat after me."
"With this oath, I  swear with my life to uphold The Order. To obey and follow all its rules and to always strive to better the principles it is founded upon and to walk in their deeper meanings."
After Banit repeats the oath Cat placed the Bible down and moved on to the bullet.  He picked it up, then moved over to a bowl of ashes and dipped the tip of the bullet in it.   Cat put the bullet tip on Banit's forhead making an imprint with the ashes. 
"May this bullet strike you dead should you violate The Order."
Next, Cat thrust his hand into the ashes and withdrew a needle between his thumb and forefinger.  Cat took hold of Banit by the wrist and turned his hand over, palm up.  A glint of light caught the needle's point before Cat plunged it into his friend's pointer finger.  Drops of blood trickled off Banit's finger into the bowl.
"May your blood turn to ashes should you violate The Order of Thieves."
Both men looked at each other and smiled now that the ritual was complete.  Cat then walked around table and hugged his friend.
"Welcome, my brother."

The cold-blooded killers lived by codes of The Order. Each man had to fire into a body, when they were pulling a job, so each of them held responsibility for the murder.  In case one refused, he was immediately shot by the rest of the men.  Each man was a gunman, by their own definition, not a gangster.  In Jamaica, a cop would shoot a gunman, not arrest them..

Cat started The Order in the 90's when he came out of the military.  Cat learned life was simple, you hustle or you get hustled. Cat's first "Jux" happened after spotting a "Baller", a man with a lot of cash. He was too flashy with his cash so it was taken from him.  This is the code Cat lives by; this is the code that gives rise to The Order of Thieves.

The Order, founded by Cat, consists of a desperate group of men who have all proved themselves in action. They go down shooting.  Cat, Banit, Cloud, James, Prince and Ozzi are the members, but one of them is a cop and one of them is about to be killed.  Forced to split up, the crew plans to reunite in Miami and team with party promoter, Gamble to pull of the biggest "Jux" any of them has ever seen. 

Will they be able to leave the streets with a newly stolen fortune?  It appears they have very little emotion except their devotion to The Order.  They seemed to plan things very well, because all of them knew what they were supposed to do.  I think Cat started his path along The Order  when he was little, because his father was in a gang and was killed.  He started seeing this at a very early age.   The book is an erxtremely good book.  You really have to stop and think as to how The Order became such an important part of their lives and they abided by it.

I was given this complimentary copy of the print version of "RESPECT THE JUX" from Night Owl Reviews for this unbiased review.

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