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The story is as much an in-depth portrayal of the homeless community as a fast-paced suspense thriller. Veronika goes from her yuppie lifestyle to that of a homeless person, roaming around with a travel bag and panhandled money to establish credibility on the City streets. She learns firsthand of the virtually non-existent accommodations for homeless women, as well as the difficulty of going without the basic necessities that everyday citizens take for granted. She comes across Khalid Sangani, a homeless teen who makes his way as a male prostitute. Together they work their way into Hyatt’s network as Veronika tries to find a way to take him down.
Khalid was a witness to the murder of four hoboes who had been sent by the Hobo Underground to censure Hyatt for his activities. He keeps the secret in fear for his life, realizing that Veronika herself might become a victim of one of Hyatt’s hardcore Disciples. Comprised of homeless war veterans, the twelve-man squad will stop at nothing to protect Hyatt and their secret criminal enterprise. Each of them is a gang leader earning money through drugs, prostitution, robbery and burglary, enforcing their networks with beatings and murder. Evan, who is tailing Veronika on the street, is discovered by the Disciples and nearly killed in a knife attack. He refuses to be taken off the case and continues to follow her at risk of his life.
After suffering a sexual assault in a hazing ritual, Veronika and Khalid are accepted into the Inner Circle and learn of Hyatt’s plans. The ultimate Day of Defiance entails leaving cardboard boxes full of counterfeit money in strategic areas around Manhattan in an attempt to paralyze the local economy. Hyatt announces that there will be a number of great lessons to be learned from this Great Day, though in reality it is serving as a cover for a car bomb attack by an Al Qaeda cell for which Hyatt is being paid a small fortune. Veronika, unaware of the bomb plot, is determined to stop the counterfeit gambit and have Hyatt arrested once she has enough evidence.
It is Hyatt’s megalomania that brings the project to ruin as he sets up a midnight rally at a secret meeting place where the entire homeless community is asked to attend. Hyatt reveals his long-range plans to bring the city to its knees, presenting a list of demands to the City regardless of the unbearable cost.
Set against a realistic backdrop along the streets of New York, the plight of the homeless becomes an integral part of the storyline in this fast-paced thriller. Crime novel enthusiasts and current events followers will find King of the Hoboes one to be long remembered.