I first read it in high school. I just finished reading it as research for writing a gangland book using Murder Incorporated.
The book, written by Irving Shulman in the late 40’s is about Brownsville Brooklyn. The Amboy Dukes are named after Amboy Street.
Most of the characters aren’t sympathetic. It’s not an easy book to read. The conclusion at the end is simple. Don’t get involved in gangs because the price is high.