||Madbo Enterprises, Inc.
||July 21, 2007
READY TO ORDER FOR YOUR READING ROOM! From the author who brought the compelling suspense thriller The Mouse That Roared, Dwayne Murray, Sr., has done it again. If you thought you was on the ride of a lifetime with The Mouse That Roared, you will totally be on the edge of you seat with his second action packed novel "WHATEVER IT TAKES!"
I am happy to announce that Whatever It Takes was released July 21, 2007 and featured at the 2007 Harlem Book Fair. Readers have embraced my sophomore novel and the event was a priviledge to be a part of. Check out the reviews on Amazon and a few posted here on Authorsden.
“Whatever It Takes” is a compelling novel depicting what happens when Butch and Zig Steel, carrying a 25 year grudge, finally gets their chance to unleash hell upon an unsuspecting prey. Their plan includes kidnapping, extortion and murder; all skillfully executed and absent of pity and remorse. The cherry on top of the Steel brothers’ cake is 25 million dollars that feeds their thirst for revenge.
To complete their mission, it will involve the capturing of innocent 9 year old Penny Baker, because she holds the key to it all. The only thing standing in the Steel brothers’ way are two seasoned “Ride or Die” female detectives; Jesse James and Brenda Simple. The detectives’ new mission in life is to do whatever it takes to protect Penny and bring the Steel Brothers to justice.
From the author who brought you the action packed thriller The Mouse That Roared, Dwayne Murray, Sr. invites readers to embrace his new novel “Whatever It Takes.” He suggests to readers who are lovers of action, thrills, suspense and drama, they must do two things: “Grab this book and buckle up because the chase is on!”
The History of Steel
It was ninety degrees on the quiet tree lined block of Eastchester Road in the Bronx in the summer of 1981. In the backyard of their home 11 year-old Butch Steel and his 10 year-old brother Zig dug a 2 x 16 trench that would soon be filled with vegetables of all types. The boys had on shorts and work boots as they worked with great vigor. Pete and Simone Steel looked on with great pride. In systematic rhythm, the Steel brothers worked diligently as if they were well oiled machines and never got in each others’ way always in sync.
Pete and Simone watched from the dining room window as dirt flew in the air. Pete said with great pride, “Baby look at our two sons, not even twelve years old yet, working and earning their keep like we have always taught them.”
Simone, a registered nurse at Bronx North Central Hospital replied, “I thank God for them because even though we try to teach them all we know, they could have taken another path. Yes baby, we should be proud.”
Pete, who was an electrician’s foremen, hugged his wife and watched his boys complete their task.
“Boy! Look at the time. I have to go get dinner started.”
“You do that sweetheart; I’m going outside and give my soldiers some cold lemonade.” Pete kissed his dark and lovely wife on the cheek, and went to the kitchen. *****
Butch and Zig dropped their shovels and sipped their lemonade in the shade. Their father assessed the ditch as he admired their work. “Good job boys, I couldn’t have done it better myself. Your momma will love the job too, especially since she will be able to plant her vegetables. I need to ask you two a question. Do you think I’m hard on ya’ll when it comes to chores around the house?”
Butch looked at his father with a slight glimmer in his eyes and answered, - “No Sir, we don’t feel that way at all.”
Zig, who sported a bald head and had the body of a 16 year-old, looked at his dad and answered, “No Dad I don’t feel that way either.”
Pete looked at his sons while he scratched his beard and asked, “Why is it important for a man to do his job?”
Without missing a beat Butch and Zig answered at the same exact time, -“Because if a man shall not work, a man shall not eat.”
Pete clapped his hands loudly with pride towards his sons. He grabbed their sweaty necks and pulled Butch and Zig close to his chest, “That’s what I want to hear! That’s my boys, the Steel brothers’! Now ya’ll go get washed up for dinner. Your mother will be calling us soon. But hold on before you two go, I need to say…
Before Pete finished his sentence, his sons looked up at him and responded, “Dad we know you love us, we love you too!”
Pete looked at his sons and sucked his teeth “Oh shut up. I wasn’t even going to say that.” A smile on his face, Pete nudged his boys towards the backdoor so they could wash up for dinner. Before he followed them inside, Pete’s attention focused on Elizabeth, an elderly woman in her seventies who lived two houses down from his.
Elizabeth Smith has lived on the block for more than fifty years. She’s widowed and had no children. Elizabeth was a retired school teacher who taught in catholic schools in the Bronx.
“Good evening Mr. Steel. I’m terribly sorry for disturbing you, but I haven’t seen Tigger since yesterday morning and I’m worried because he always comes home for supper.”
Pete always admired Elizabeth who still had so much energy and spunk even after the death of her husband five years ago. Pete walked over to Elizabeth and gently put his arm around the old woman’s shoulder to say, “First of all young lady, what did I tell you about that Mr. Steel stuff?
The old woman blushed as Pete continued, - “I promise when we finish dinner the boys and I will search the area for Tigger. I’m pretty sure he found himself a girlfriend so there’s no need for you to worry.”
The old woman smiled with confidence and said, “You and your family have always been so kind to me. I want to thank you for that. I know you will find Tigger.” Pete gave the woman a wink of his eye and went inside to join his family for dinner. *****
Later after dinner, Simone stood on her stoop with Elizabeth by her side. Pete, Butch and Zig however walked up the block with flashlights in their hands in search for Tigger.
“Simone, my eyes are not nearly what they use to be, is that them walking this way?
“Yes Elizabeth they’re making their way up the block now.”
“Do they have Tigger with them? Simone, please tell me.”
Simone, who had the vision of a hawk, looked up the block and turned towards a worried Elizabeth and responded, “No they don’t have Tigger but I’m sure he will turn up.”
The Steel men approached their stoop and saw the anguish on Elizabeth’s face. Pete motioned to his sons to go inside as he gently explained to Elizabeth, “We looked everywhere and couldn’t find him. I promise Elizabeth, if Tigger doesn’t come home soon, the boys and I will nail posters to trees and telephone poles for you.”
“Thank you for all of your help Pete and Simone, I better go inside just in case Tigger decides to come scratching at the back door.”
Pete and Simone watched the old woman as she slowly walked to her home. Elizabeth looked both ways up the block in hoped that she saw her pet, but didn’t.
Saturday morning 6:00 AM to be exact, Zig quietly left the house from the kitchen entrance. Zig quietly opened the garage door and did his best not to wake his parents. Inside the garage Zig pulled out his brand new Apollo 5 speed bike with the banana seat. Zig slowly closed the creaking garage door, and looked up to his parents’ bedroom window to make sure his light-sleeping mother didn’t see him sneak out. To be caught that early out the house would be disastrous. Zig walked briskly while he rolled his bike down the driveway. Once he was at the curb, he jumped on his bike and sped down Eastchester Road towards his hideaway. *****
An hour later Butch was in the kitchen as he helped his mother with breakfast. Butch always enjoyed that time with his mother on Saturday morning’s. Simone mixed pancake batter when she noticed Butch had tossed bacon in the hot frying pan.
“Butch never throw the bacon into the pan okay? Always lay it in the pan gently so the grease doesn’t pop all over the place.”
“Yes momma. Am I doing it right now?”
Simone looked proudly at her independent son and answered, “Yes you are little man. Now use your fork and gently spread the bacon apart.”
Butch did as he was told and flipped the bacon over with the fork like a professional, which bought a smile to his mother’s face.
“Butch can you clean, cook and sew on your own?”
“Yes mama I can do those things very well.”
“Butch do you need a woman to take care of you?”
“No mama I don’t need a woman to take care of me because I have been taught to take care of myself, and carry my own weight.”
Simone prided herself on how she raised independent young men. She didn’t want them to rely on anyone for anything. Simone also used every chance to teach her sons lessons in life. Simone gave her son a long look and asked “Any man can take a wife Butch, but what makes her qualified to be yours?”
“She must be honest, loyal, trusting, strong and fearless,” Butch stated.
“Butch, what if she doesn’t have any of those qualities within her?”
“Then she can’t come here to meet you mama, Butch replied”
Simone rubbed her son on the top of his head and said, “Very good grasshopper now go wake your brother up so he can eat.”
Butch did as he was told and ran from the kitchen and upstairs to get his brother. When Butch got to Zig’s room he noticed that he was already gone. *****
Butch was pissed off because he knew his mom would send him out to get Zig. Butch wanted to enjoy his hot blueberry pancakes and bacon. Butch knew for a fact that reheated pancakes never would taste the same as fresh “right out of the skillet” pancakes.
On his bike, Butch rode fast to their hideaway. Butch and Zig used the hideaway to look at their father’s nude magazines. Butch was determined to get Zig for messing up his Saturday morning breakfast. Butch cut across Eastchester Road until he came upon Pelham Parkway. Butch pumped his legs harder until he was 100 feet away from the wooded entrance of the Steel’s hideout.
At the entrance Butch got off his bike and walked the rest of the way. He was going to sneak up on Zig and make him pay for having to eat re-heated pancakes. Gently Butch walked on dry leaves and twigs as he wiped away sweat that dripped down his face. The heat and humidity was already kicking during the early morning hours. Butch swatted away mosquitoes and flies as he made his way closer to Zig.
Butch ducked behind a nearby tree and spotted Zig’s 5-speed Apollo bike. Zig begged his parents the whole winter for that bike because he knew no one else would have it by the summer. Butch knew Zig had to be close; his brother would never let that bike out of his sight.
Zig was in front of the muddy pond on his knees and his arm swiped down numerous times. Still not sure what the hell Zig was doing, Butch crept closer so that he could get a better view. While Butch watched Zig from behind, he saw his brother swipe his arm from side to side and noticed a shiny object in his possession. *****
Pete is awakened by the delicious aroma of his wife’s pancakes. He entered into his bathroom to prepare for his morning shave. Pete prepped his skin with a very hot towel that he covered his face with. Pete grabbed his shaving accessories and in a circular motion spread the lather smoothly and evenly on his face. Pete whistled the theme from “Shaft” and reached into his black leather shaving bag to get his stainless steel straight razor with the rattlesnake on the handle. Pete loved that razor because his father gave it to him as a Christmas gift, just before he died. He sucked his teeth in disgust because it’s not there. “Simone have you seen my razor!” Pete shouted. *****
Zig raised his visibly bloodied hand for another swipe. Butch ran from his concealed spot and yelled, “Zig you fucking bastard!”
Butch scared the shit out of Zig as he quickly jumped up and dropped the razor to the ground. In front of Butch was Miss. Elizabeth’s cat Tigger dead with his stomach cut wide open. Totally pissed off at Zig, Butch ran and tackled him to the ground. The two brothers wrestled intensely. The aggression was evident between the brothers as they tried to get the advantage on each other. Butch knew full well that Zig was stronger then him. So Butch used all of his body weight to pin his brother down as he sat on his chest
Both of them breathed hard when Butch slapped his brother across the face, “You bastard how could you!”
Zig tried hard to get up while he screamed, - “You were late getting up this morning. I told you to go to bed early and I told you what time I was leaving!”
Butch slapped his brother across the face again and peered at Zig with anger in his eyes, “I don’t give a damn you stupid selfish bastard. I planned this whole thing, I was the one who lured Tigger and caught him. You had no right doing this without me!”
Zig extremely exhausted, looked up at his older brother and somberly said, “Butch I’m sorry, please don’t be mad at me. I was dreaming about it all night! I couldn’t wait. Please don’t be mad with me man.”
Butch slowly got off his brother’s chest and helped him to his feet, “Go dig a hole with a branch and bury it. I’ll wash the blade and remember the story we will tell them when they ask us where we were. Do you understand?”
Zig picked the gutted Tigger off the ground and buried it like his brother told him to do.
Whatever It Takes
Dwayne Murray, Sr.
Reviewed By Kara Montague
You don’t want to mess with the Steel Brothers.
Butch and Zig Steel are the living embodiments of psychopathic killers: cold, calculating, unrelenting, and with an incurable bloodlust, the boys stop at nothing to get whatever they want - and, in this case, they want revenge. The target of their rage: unsuspecting multimillionaire Melvin Baker, who has risen in the ranks of the video game software world as a young whiz kid who can seemingly do no wrong.
Baker is not as innocent as he appears, though; in truth, his past is directly entwined with that of the Steel Brothers. In fact, he is directly connected to them in such a way that he bears responsibility for their becoming the monsters that they are. Had it not been for a fateful ride that Melvin took with his father one Sunday afternoon when he was a child, he and the Steel Brothers may never have crossed paths...instead, they hold his fate - and that of his family - in their sadistic hands.
Hands down: Dwayne Murray knows how to tell a story. His narrative is written in compelling language, and he is an absolute master of suspense. Each new chapter introduces another episode in the lives of fully-fleshed characters that you either love or love to hate - either way, you can’t put the book down, no matter if you try.
More impressive about Murray’s tale is the deliberate way he shows the devolution of the Steel Brothers. Rather than paint them as cold-hearted, soulless killers, Murray outlines how their descent into a world of bitterness and hate is prompted by a series of unfortunate circumstances beyond the realm of their control. Starting out with two loving, strong parents, the boys are robbed of the comfort and sanctity of a normal life and thrust into the grim realities of despair, neglect, and group home abuse until finally developing the personas of unyielding aggressors. Witnessing the tragedy of their slow, agonizing demise through the bowels of society, one cannot help but realize that their reactions are honed and developed solely for the sake of their own survival.
Dwayne Murray should be applauded for his latest contribution to the realm of urban fiction. In Whatever It Takes, he has crafted a tight, sophisticated tale of the double-edged sword of streetwise sensibility. Highly recommended for true fans of the genre.
ARC Book Club Incorporated
Whatever It Takes
Dwayne Murray, Sr.
Reviewed by Locksie
Bronx NY. 1981.
Siblings Butch and Zig Steel's parents Pete and Simone were taken away from them in one horrific instant.
Aunt Karen is the only relative willing to care for the brothers.
But Aunty Karen squanders the money left to take care of her nephews.
Butch has had enough of Aunt Karen's treatment and decides to take matters into his own hands. After Karen's sudden death Butch and Zig are placed in a home for boys where they are brutally treated but must stay until their 18th birthday.
Upon their release they find jobs with the Sullivan Seafood Company. Impressed with their dedication; the brothers move up the ranks, and work for Mr. Sullivan for over a decade. Feeling hatred against their parents killer; the brothers, who are now men begin putting into action a plan that has been twenty five years in the making.
Bronx NY. 2006
The sweetest part of Butch and Zig's revenge is the 25 million dollar payday...but what they weren't counting on is a nine year old girl caught up in the mix...and the ruthless Steel brothers want everyone in their way DEAD.
Brenda Simple and Jesse James, two relentless female detectives shocked by the events unfolding around them, vow to protect little Penny - putting themselves, the police department and family in SERIOUSLY GRAVE DANGER!
The Steel brothers are not to be messed with!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Author Dwayne Murray, SR. doesn't disappoint his fans with his sophomore contribution to the literary world. If you love a strong storyline, action packed suspense and the thrill of a chase, then "Whatever It Takes" is the thriller you've been waiting for!
These days I hardly get to see a movie and thanks to authors like Dwayne I don't have to. Dwayne's book has the reader up close and personal with unpredictable storylines written as vividly as if you were actually on the scene!
Thank you Dwayne, you introduced us to extraordinary characters such as Butch, Zig and King Tut. Nice twist with Jess's long time friend Randu! That was great!
Also a superb ending! Yes I LOVED the first ending as it involved Penny and King Tut...Yeah, I knew Butch would do that...yes it was so wrong... but oh so right for this awesome ending!!!!!!!
A highly recommended read!
ARC Book Club Inc.
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Reader Reviews for "Whatever It Takes"
|Reviewed by Gwendolyn Thomas Gath
|Sounds like an interesting book you have penned Dwayne. I am sure that it is a gripping thriller, wishing you success!|