Books: Jailhouse Blues

HOMEBOY by Seth Morgan

Random House; 390 pages; $19.95

The boy is Joe Speaker, small-time heroin peddler and barker for the Blue Note Lounge, a scumbucket strip joint in San Francisco's Tenderloin. The home is prison, out of which he is not likely to stay long. This is partly because his dim sidekick Rooski foolishly shot a Chinese druggist when the two of them were fumbling what was supposed to be a peaceful, harmless burglary. The main reason is that Joe belongs in jail, feels comfortable there. Not secure, understand, because dope selling in the lockup is even tougher than it...

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