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Michael Estepa

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Member Since: Jun, 2010

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Purged by Darkness
by Michael Estepa   

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Publisher:  Eloquent Books ISBN-10:  1608603504 Type: 


Copyright:  June 1, 2009 ISBN-13:  9781608603503

Barnes &
Angus & Robertson
Purged by Darkness - Michael Estepa

The story is told through the eyes of Kai, the leader of his friends and the main character of the story as he comes face to face with drugs, bullets, and in most recent times a sense of morality. The group’s friendship endures as the six try to define their lives interweaved with their life of crime.

In this strange existence, love and loyalty among the friends flourish because they can only depend on each other. But friendship is pushed beyond all normal limits, as danger waits at every turn.

Purged by Darkness revolves around six friends in Melbourne, Australia, and their journey inside the organised crime syndicate known as the Triads.  

In the gang lifestyle, honour and absolute loyalty is demanded of all members, while fear, death and betrayal often follow. The group’s friendship endures as the six try to define their lives interweaved with their life of crime. In their world, no one ever wins and everyone involved finds it too difficult to ever get out. To them, the city represents violence and the countryside, peace. 

In this strange existence, love and loyalty among the friends flourish because they can only depend on each other. But friendship is pushed beyond all normal limits, as danger waits at every turn. 

What is it like to live in a world of death and violence? Is every moment cherished because it could be the last? Finally, what does it take to survive life in the mob?

Chapter 2

The queue to enter the nightclub was long and, as planned, we simply walked in without any of the bouncers at the door searching or scanning us for weapons. Just like I told my friends earlier, I had bribed the bouncers the day before. As long as the price was right, I knew we could make them work for us. Only steps away, we were all hesitant to enter. It was a tense feeling mixed with anxiety and fear all rolled into one that none of us will ever forget.

Upon entering, our ears were filled with constant sounds of fast-pumping music and our eyes were blinded by the lasers and the disco lighting running throughout the darkened club. The place was jam-packed and there was barely enough room to move. This worried me, especially since it made a quick escape not so accessible. In spite of this, I gave my friends the nod, and watched while Philip and Ricky went in their own directions to find their positions. With Joseph a few steps behind me, we began walking slowly, looking for our target. Taking my time, I wanted to check out the area and see how his men moved throughout the club.

Just minutes after entering the club, I found him. Towards the back tables above the steps was Freddy Zyu. I had never met him before nor had I ever spoken to him. This was the first time I would ever see him and it would be the last. Remembering the folder and the photo of this man back at Mr Wong’s conference room three weeks ago, I realised he looked every bit like he did in the photo. His men also had looked very familiar, almost as if I had seen them every day of my life. During the short time we were there, their faces were something I refused to forget. Their very detailed features I would force myself to memorise and remember when the time came. Watching this branch leader sit back and enjoy himself while my friend was dead, sickened me. I felt my blood rush and my emotions take over. Control yourself, Kai. Don’t let your anger take over. You’ve got a job to do, I said to myself. I wanted to kill this bastard right there and then, but the time to strike just wasn’t right.

Looking around, I could see that Philip and Ricky were within my line of sight. Finally making eye contact with both of them, I gave them the signal as to where our target was. Giving another signal, I made sure they watched the area in which our target was situated. Even though visibility was not clear, I saw when I showed my friends where the target was situated, their faces become lifeless and still and I felt their hearts stop. There was a look of terror and rage filling their eyes. It killed them to see that branch leader having a good time, laughing and drinking while our friend was dead. They wanted him dead and they would even die trying if they had to. I wanted that too, but the timing still wasn’t right. Several times I had to get their attention to stop them from making a move.

With our target staying put, we waited patiently for over forty minutes, even mingling with the crowd, watching and waiting for our chance to strike. We couldn’t strike just yet since he had a handful of women with him. It was my understanding that no matter what, under no circumstances was I or any of my men going to kill anyone, especially women, not involved in the hit. It had never been my practice nor was it something I condoned, to hurt or kill innocent people not involved in the underworld. I would wait as long as I had to.

With my men and myself growing very impatient, the opportunity finally came when all the women they were with got up and walked in the direction of the bathroom. Giving Ricky, Philip and Joseph the nod, we began putting our silencers on. Walking slowly towards them, I began counting in my head, taking a deep breath each time as I did so. One… Two… Three… Four… Five… Six… Seven... I said to myself. There were seven of his men with this branch leader. With Philip and Ricky coming from the left and Joseph and me coming from the right, we knew we could easily take them out without question.

Finally within range and with the darkness of the club still in our favour, we opened fire. It was quick and instant. For a moment I even felt pity, simply because it wasn’t honourable to kill an enemy when he cannot see you or is not ready. Then I thought, Who cares? No gangsters are honourable these days.

Professional Reviews

Heart racing crime story
"Purged by Darkness" by Michael Estepa contains a story that was able to build my curiosity with each page I read. The twists and turns of the story were incredible. My adrenalin kept on pumping at every chapter I finished. This must be the reason why it took me so quick to reach the end of the book, like thunder that came and went, pretty fast!

I fancy stories of these kinds. Law and the underworld attract my attention more than anything else. This book kept me to my seat, always wondering what would happen next. The story depicts street kids growing up without the guidance of parents who end up falling victim to the vices and lures of the narcotics industry. More and more we are seeing young adolescents becoming liabilities to society, rather than assets. This unfortunately seems to be the trend in the generation our children are living in.

The story of Kai and his friends, Ricky, Leo, Phillip, Daniel and Joseph's rise to fame, fortune and power in the Melbourne underworld were surprisingly quick. It was quite an achievement! Determination was what I saw in Kai. But would Kai’s sudden rise to criminal notoriety be a burden or a blessing?

This book will definitely help many of our young people who fell into the wrong crowd to deal with their own demons and hopefully, find a way to get out of the mess they themselves created. Many of today’s teenagers are trapped in a dangerous lifestyle with no means to escape. This book will aid in bringing down the belief of “I am invincible because I am young”. There is always a consequence to ones actions.

Reviewed by Teresita Tenorio
Contributor: Philippine Community Herald Newspaper

Gritty first novel
There’s no escaping the bind of friendship. This gritty first novel from Michael Estepa captures the reality of pressures which can imprison youth if caught on the ‘wrong-side’ of life. A group of friends have to decide what’s important in a relationship which can have tragic consequences for the players embroiled in violence, drugs and warfare in Melbourne’s backstreets. Michael Estepa captures this reality, and gives a passionate resolution to the commitment that binds such a group and the loyalty which can entrap. This is an earthy novel, where prose can often leap from the page.

Daniel Ferguson
Collections & Assets Coordinator
Fairfield City Library, Sydney, Australia

Portraying without glorifying the gang lifestyle
Michael Estepa tells a realistic story of young men who feel they have no other choice but to join a "society" and participate in the accompanying violent and tragic gang lifestyle. He speaks from personal experiences and observations but has centered the fictional novel around Kai, who is surprisingly thoughtful and intuitive.

Estepa writes in the introduction about his concerns for young men who are making these choices and says he wants to portray the lifestyle without glorifying it. He has done a great job striking this balance.

Reviewed by Tiffany Norris
Book reviewer,

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