No More Harlem

David Collins

Book Cover

GENRE

THRILLER

    Core Theme

    RAGS-TO-RICHES, CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, POWER AND AMBITION

    TIME PERIOD

    1980s & '90s

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    THE GODFATHER OF HARLEM, NEW JACK CITY, DEAD PRESIDENTS

    CHARACTER LIST

    CLARENCE ""PREACHER"" HEATLEY (M/30S-40S) -- THE TOWERING, FORMIDABLE EX-CON WITH AN AFFINITY FOR SEX AND VIOLENCE WHO SETS OUT TO DOMINATE HARLEM AS A KINGPIN.

    MALIK (M/20S) -- FORMER SOLDIER WITH SADISTIC TENDENCIES AND A FIERCE LOYALIST TO PREACHER.

    JACK (M/30S) -- FORMER POLICE OFFICER IN CAHOOTS WITH PREACHER AND CO. WHO BECOMES OVERZEALOUS AND BRASH.

    APPLE (M/20S) -- OPPORTUNISTIC, MONEY HUNGRY FOOT SOLDIER TO PREACHER.

    YVETTE (F/20S) -- SMART, CAPABLE GIRLFRIEND OF PREACHER; UNAFRAID TO STAND UP FOR HERSELF.

    HAROLD (M/20S) -- LOCAL HARLEM THUG AND KNOWN TROUBLEMAKER WHO IS AMONG THE FIRST TO CREW UP WITH PREACHER.

    Logline

    Preacher wanted to take over Harlem by robbing the merchants, drug dealers and residents of the neighborhood. Which gave him the name "Black Hand of Death." This story is also being told on (Gangsters most evil,,the FBI FILES)

    Target Audiences

    Age: 35-54

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    Harlem, New York.

    Based on a True Story

    Yes

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: with a Publisher

    Publisher: David Collins

    Year Published: 2020

    Starting Description

    Late 80's throughout the 90s.

    Ending Description

    There is not trust among the crew and everyone goes to jail.

    Group Specific

    Harlem and the Bronx, New York.

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    Information not completed

    Mature Audience Themes

    Extreme Violence,Nudity,Substance Abuse,Sexual Abuse, Language/Profanity

    Plot - Other Elements

    Other

    Plot - Premise

    Internal Journey/Rebirth,Other

    Main Character Details

    Name: Clarence Heatley

    Age: 34

    Gender: Male

    Role: Tempter

    Key Traits: Crazy,Blunt,Aggressive,Decisive,Greedy,Leader,Badass,Complex,Manipulative,Masculine,Outspoken,Unapologetic,Sarcastic,Skillful,Villainous,Narcisstic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Jack Cuff

    Age: 31

    Gender: Male

    Role: Tempter

    Key Traits: Unapologetic,Blunt,Masculine,Outspoken,Aggressive,Criminal,Insecure,Badass,Manipulative,Villainous

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Malik Boatwright

    Age: 26

    Gender: Male

    Role: protagonist

    Key Traits: Crazy,Uneducated,Badass,Complex,Villainous,Obedient

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Yvette Miller

    Age: 36

    Gender: Female

    Role: sidekick

    Key Traits: Funny,Outspoken,Unapologetic,Aggressive,Charming,Sarcastic,Manipulative,Confident

    Development Pitch

    This the story about one of the most RUTHLESS DRUG GANGS FROM HARLEM, THE PREACHER CREW,THE GOVERNMENT CALLED HIM "THE BLACK HAND OF DEATH." Some of the residents call him a MONSTER.The PREACHER CREW was responsible for 47 murders, no one was safe, store owners, drug dealers, even R&B artists. PREACHER took what he wanted and left a path of DESTRUCTION while doing it.. For years people talked about things the PREACHER CREW did, but no one knew what happened until NOW.

    Genre

    THRILLER

    Brief

    After being released from prison, Clarence "Preacher" Heatley sets out to dominate Harlem, becoming a formidable kingpin and drug dealer with a proclivity for sex and violence. Surrounding himself with a loyal crew of sadistic and opportunistic goons, Preacher soon dominates the borough, making wealths of money. However, overzealousness and violence land Preacher in jail, where he turns on his entire crew and pleads guilty in order to avoid the death penalty.

    Overall Rating

    FAIR

    Point of View

    THIRD PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: FAIR

    Characterization: FAIR

    Commerciality: FAIR

    Franchise Potential: FAIR

    Pace: FAIR

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: FAIR

    Theme: FAIR

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    The book profile is an accurate reflection, although the short summary is quite bare bones and uninspired.

    Draw of Story

    The work starts out strong in that the author paints a clear picture of a memorable, singular figure and endows him with a specific goal, in this case to dominate Harlem as a kingpin. This constitutes a solid foundation and effortlessly kicks the story into gear.

    Possible Drawbacks

    What stands out as a shortcoming in this work is how low the stakes seem to be for Preacher-- He is almost never in serious physical, financial, or emotional danger. It can be said that Preacher is almost too in control to where it starves this work of drama and conflict relating most directly to him. Take the jobs Preacher and co. pull for example-- They seem to execute effortlessly each time. This work could be so much more engaging if success was tougher for Preacher to come across. Secondly, while many of the characters have interesting qualities, the characters are utterly despicable in this work-- It makes it difficult or impossible to root for or connect with anyone emotionally. Right now, Preacher is downright vile, and perhaps more nuance and complexity would better intertwine the audience to his POV and journey.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    This is a gangster story with incessant violence, sex, and intrigue that is sure to pique the interest of a select, perhaps morbidly curious audience. It's a gritty, street-level, true-to-life tale of crime and punishment-- Shocking and obscene and hard to look away.

    Fanbase Potential

    No, this work is geared more toward a select or niche audience. Fans of true crime, the macabre, and of gangster lore will seek it out, but its prospects for the audience at large remain limited.

    Awards Potential

    No, this is not an awards contender-- It's far too graphic, violent, and grimy, it seems, and it lacks a sufficient moral conscience or profound thematic backbone.

    Envisioned Budget

    MEDIUM BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    THE GODFATHER OF HARLEM, NEW JACK CITY, DEAD PRESIDENTS

    What’s New About the Story

    What's original about this story is the extent to which it pushes the boundary, veering far into NC-17 territory. The violence borders on obscene, and the nudity and sex border on pornographic. It's perhaps incomparable in how far it goes in these categories.

    Lead Characters

    Preacher is a memorable figure for his size, personality, and operating procedure. He is gargantuan, which bodes well for a memorable on-screen silhouette, and he is stoic and commandeering. His ruthlessness is indelible, too-- He seems to lack a moral conscience even in the slightest, which makes him both fascinating and terrifying.

    Uniqueness of Story

    While this project has its virtues, there is a sense that it lacks thematic profundity, that it lacks more well-defined stakes, and that it is deprived of any relatable or sympathetic characters. Additional passes while keeping these notes in mind could yield a more exceptional result.

    Possible Formats

    Film - Streaming, Film - Studio, TV Series - Network, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series

    Analyst Recommendation

    WORK IN PROGRESS

    Justification

    This is a work in progress because it seems to lack well enough defined stakes and any sympathetic characters. Further consideration to address these two areas could yield a result that is both more palatable and relatable.

    Tips for Improvement

    Finding a way to make the audience better relate to or sympathize with Preacher would make this work much more effective. Right now, he feels a bit one note with how ruthless he is. Secondly, his rise feels too easy in many ways. It would be much more effective to showcase Preacher struggle and navigate more obstacles.

    Brief

    The story follows the true story of Clarence "Preacher" Heatley, an utterly ruthless and savvy ex-con who sets out to dominate 1980s and 90s Harlem as an all-powerful kingpin alongside a slew of sadistic and opportunistic allies.

    What We Liked

    This work stands out for its wild violence and sexual elements. The author spares the audience from no grisly or graphic imagery, showcasing the streets of 1980s/90s Harlem in all their bloody glory. For better or worse, this work goes further than most others of its ilk and will be sure to raise eyebrows and call attention to itself.

    Film: This would be a solid adaptation for film thanks to its graphic violence, action, and intrigue. People would be drawn to this movie for its no holds barred tone and its hard-to-look-away kind of qualities. There are shocks aplenty to be experience in this story.

    TV: This would be a solid candidate for adaptation for TV thanks to its sprawling, even epic narrative. This work features robust characters and dynamics across many years, which bodes well for sustaining seasons of long-form television, almost certainly on a premium channel.

    Key points: 1. The memorable, intimidating figure of Preacher.
    2. The setting-- Specific, seedy, and visually interesting.
    3. The impact-- The flashes of shocking, affecting violence.
    4. The unsavory and terrifying supporting players, like Malik.
    5. The jobs-- Diverse, original, and unexpected.

    Synopsis

    PREACHER (40s, dark-skinned, 6'5"""") calls a meeting in the prison yard. After 10 years, Preacher is being released, and he sells categories of his inside drug game to a group of followers. He's known for his ruthlessness and his proclivity for violence, and he vows to take over Harlem as soon as he's out. On the ground in Harlem, Preacher pays a visit to PHYLLIS, and they have wild sex. Soon, he links up with a troublemaker named HAROLD, and he kills a thief in front of EARL, who runs the block currently. With that, Preacher effectively takes command. He crews up with TERRY, serving as his right hand man, who helps him set up a security shop as a front. APPLE, BIG BEN, ANT, and HAROLD round out the rest of the enforcers. A former soldier, MALIK, joins the crew not long after. After one robbery job goes awry, Malik accuses Apple of skimming from the crew. After making his followers swear a pledge, Preacher outs Apple and orders a brutal beat down via the other men in the crew. He allows Apple to stay in the crew but vows never to tolerate insubordination again. Months go by, and Preacher's crew and influence grow steadily. When a high roller named ALPO disrespects a woman named AD, who is actually Preacher's daughter, Preacher pays him a visit and forces him to pay a steep cash penance. Not long after, some mobsters send an intimidating message attached to a dead bird to the security shop. Preacher sends him men to gun down the white mobsters in response. One day, the brother of a famous R&B singer named TRAVIS RATLEY turns on a local woman after being pulled over by a cop. With that, Preacher and co. hatch a plan to claim the woman as Preacher's daughter and to coerce the famous singer to pay a penalty when he's in town. Preacher meets a woman named KEISHA, and she accepts when he asks her to be his wife for the week. They in turn have wild, intense sex. Malik has developed into a reliable foot soldier to Preacher, going so far as to call him Dad and to vow to serve him however he could possibly need. Soon, Travis Ratley arrives in New York, and the crew promptly scoops him up. Malik inflicts some torture on the singer, exposing and touching the man's genitals and evidently becoming aroused by it. This unnerves some of the men. Preacher arrives and coerces the singer to pay $250K to appease him. Later, Apple brings in a hit job, and Preacher orders him to take Malik with him. Malik seems to savor the kill, using his bare hands to snap the target's neck before emptying his magazine into the corpse.

    After extorting a woman, YVETTE, for sex to pay her husband's debt, Preacher sets sights on extorting a relative of Apple's named RICH PORTER for a large sum. He convinces Apple to lure his nephew in order to hold him as ransom. Apple delivers young DARNELL, 11, to the men, and they proceed to chop off one of the boy's fingers. The boy's mother panics and calls the police, while Rich gathers the funds. As a result, a media circus and police investigation ensues, while Preacher and co. hold the boy hostage. Later, much to Apple's dismay, Preacher orders the boy to be killed, and Malik promptly breaks his neck. The feds find a way to try Preacher, but he narrowly gets off without conviction. He decides to lay low in Virginia, where he invests in and starts a computer company. A year passes, and his influence in New York depletes.

    Soon, Preacher decides to return to New York and to rebuild a crew and empire. Apple, Harold, and a man named GREEN EYES return, while former police officer JACK becomes a full-time member, too. They soon execute a robbery on KILLER, a local boss. They collect 1.5 million in cash and kill Killer and his wife. Preacher starts seeing Yvette again and even moves into her place. Soon, Preacher and co. plan to knock off a prominent jewelry store, and they begin doing research and reconnaissance. The time comes for Preacher to call Malik back up to New York from Virginia. Malik moves into Yvette's building with a girlfriend and daughter from Virginia. Before long, Preacher evades the law again-- Acquitted in another trial for a pair of homicides. Soon, Preacher starts touching and having sex with Malik, secretly, which he thinks will fill the void in Malik, who was molested by his father as a child. Malik becomes even more loyal to Preacher as a result, becoming a bonafide hitman for him.

    Preacher finds out that some Arab men are selling drugs in his turf, so he makes plans to intervene. He spends more time with Yvette to the point that Malik gets jealous and starts getting mouthy with her. After a spat, Preacher orders Yvette to strip naked, and he has sex with her while Malik is forced to watch. Soon, Malik starts to lick Preacher's balls while Preacher has sex with Yvette. Yvette is unnerved by the sight, and Preacher acts like he is shocked too, saying he will confront Malik about it. Soon, Preacher's men head to the Arabs' vape shop, where they strike a deal with them over the drug sales. Malik goes so far as to kill off his girlfriend and toddler in a show of faith to Preacher, while Preacher rapes his own daughter. Preacher finds the crew is getting loose with their discipline-- Many are doing drugs and sleeping with each other's girlfriends. Preacher is pretty much sleeping with every single member's girlfriend. He soon makes an example out of a man named SMALL PAULS, sending a message to the community that he is in charge. Meanwhile, his computer business is going so well that he could up and retire at any moment. Yet instead, he persists on the dirty New York streets with his violence and empire.

    Preacher sets sights on Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston, telling his men that Bobby owes him money. They kidnap Bobby, and Malik hog-ties and tortures him until Whitney comes through with the money-- $200K to free her husband. Malik gets increasingly blood-hungry and disagreeable, and Preacher is finally forced to have him killed. Jack and men take Malik to the basement, shoot him in the head, and cut up the body into half-a-dozen pieces. Soon, Preacher grows wary of Jack, who has grown increasingly brash in the streets. He orders a hit on him, but his call is phone tapped by agents listening in. Before long, the state files charges against Preacher with high confidence of convicting him once and for all. Preacher, in turn, spills all to the prosecutors, giving information to indict more than a hundred people in his crew. He is dismayed, though, when the prosecutors cross him, refusing to help him get a lighter sentence for his intel. Preacher is devastated, ashamed for having ruined his entire reputation and forsaken his own rules. Soon, he pleads guilty to avoid the death penalty, accepting life in prison.

    About The Author

    David Collins helps to bring you into their world to understand that to make a living, when legal jobs and opportunities were few for African American youth, hard choices were made.