It’s 1981 in Fort Myers, Florida. Scotland Ross hasn’t given up drinking, but he has sworn off of trouble.
At a waterside tavern the day the Pope got shot, Scotland drank to cloud the memories of his dead infant son on an anniversary such as this. Distraction comes when the bar owner needs his help. Despite his vow of living within the law, Scotland soon finds himself tangling with a redneck clan, a Cuban gang, a connected crew from New York, and the very friend he set out to help.
Crimes of violence, drugs, and theft pale in comparison to the failure of self-restraint in this humid town on the Gulf coast.
When Scotland’s activities involve his girlfriend, he kicks himself into a higher gear. He didn’t know until it was too late that she’d been involved long before they even met. He’s not fully prepared for the ramifications of that, but there is no time to waste.
Can Scotland save his girlfriend, clear his name, get justice for being screwed over, and stay out of jail?
Tushhog is dark noir set in the state of sunshine. A story of crime and compulsion and the depths to which people rise or sink.
Praise for TUSHHOG:
“In Tushhog, Jeffery Hess has created a wicked lean follow-up to Beachhead. The remarkable Scotland Ross is back for another go-round, sadder maybe but no wiser, which means that he gets himself into all sorts of entertaining trouble. An excellent sophomore entry in what promises to be a long-running series of bruising, bare-knuckle crime novels.” —Pinckney Benedict, author of Miracle Boy, The Wrecking Yard and Town Smokes
“Anti-hero Scotland Ross is back and Jeffery Hess’s prose is better than ever in this Sunshine Noir follow-up to last year’s unputdownable Beachhead. With tight pacing, snappy dialogue, a grungy edge and a whole lot of attitude, Tushhog brings us another classic crime caper complete with our hard-nosed protagonist, still trying to walk the razor’s edge between right and wrong, and a colorful cast of troublemakers and rabble-rousers, each intent on stretching Scotland Ross to his limits. In the tradition of Elmore Leonard, Tushhog is a no-holds-barred noir you won’t soon forget.” —Steph Post, author of Walk in the Fire
“Brace for impact! Hard to imagine that a sequel to Jeffery Hess’s debut novel, Beachhead, could possibly outrun its predecessor in relentless pacing and passion for the noir of life, but Beachhead fans are in for a double-dose helping of both. In Tushhog, Scotland Ross returns, and though he’s determined at the outset to re-envision his life according to his rules, it’s his personal code that ultimately lands him at the center of a masterfully spun cycle of mayhem. Hess’s Scotland Ross is an unmistakable rising star within the genre of noir, and reminiscently comparable to the early rise of the complex detective, Patrick Kenzie, within the long-running series by NYT’s best-selling author, Dennis Lehane.” —Tracy Crow, author of Cooper’s Hawk and Eyes Right: Confessions from a Woman Marine.
“Tushhog is Jeffery Hess’ follow-up to Beachhead and the return of Scotland Ross. The action starts on page one and does not let up, offering the reader a one-two punch of quick, rapid-fire wit punctuated by grisly, can’t-look-away action. Hess’ prose is all Florida, all the time. Look out, Carl Hiassen…Jeff Hess is coming for your crown. You’ll trust no one in this story, but that won’t keep you from turning each and every page because Hess gives this story his all.” —Eryk Pruitt, author of Dirtbags, Hashtag, and What We Reckon
“Tushhog is spellbinding, driven, reckless and authentic. Constantly cinematic, this novel catches you in its violent, slyly funny, hair-raising grip and never lets you go. Jeff Hess has written a terrific novel that captures crime and all its gruesome and subtle consequences.” —Fred Leebron, Professor of English, Gettysburg College
It’s 1980 on Florida’s Gulf coast. Sun, drugs, gambling debts, and dirty deals push Navy-prison parolee Scotland Ross deeper into the life of crime he never wanted.
His sister’s life, a potential newfound love, and his own freedom are all on the line as he tangles with a redneck gangster intent on becoming the state’s next governor.
Will Scotland make the right choice or the one that keeps him alive?
Beachhead is dark noir set in the state of sunshine. A story of crime and loyalty, love and hate, and choices made when everything you care about is on the line.
Inspired by actual events, No Salvation features the USS Salvation as it sails for months on end in the South China Sea in the violent closing days of the Vietnam War. Exhaustion, drugs and discontent run rampant aboard ship and crew morale is at an all-time low. These conditions affect four thousand men being sequestered for months on end without port visits has everyone on edge.
This is 1972, a time when inequality and racial tension permeated ships fleet-wide. As a way to mitigate racial unrest, the ship’s captain brings in Commander Robert Porter as his Executive Officer. Commander Porter isn’t sure if he’s been selected for the job because of his skills or for the color of his skin, but the black crew doesn’t accept him.
Amid rampant drug use and various forms of sabotage, the biggest challenge to the ship’s performance and the crew’s safety is a series of violent attacks made by planes launching from the flight deck, but more perilous are the racial tensions boiling below.
Porter is uniquely positioned to save them all, but can he? If so, at what cost?
Praise for NO SALVATION:
“Truth, as they say, may be stranger than fiction, but novelist and award-winning editor, Jeffery Hess, manages to masterfully blend both in No Salvation. Based on actual events from another era, Hess’s novel with page-turning cinematic appeal sizzles with gritty realism and uncomfortable truths regarding racial tensions aboard a U.S. Navy carrier. I dare readers to walk away unchanged—in how they see others, and how they see themselves in the world.” —Tracy Crow, author of Eyes Right: Confessions of a Woman Marine
“In a skillful fictionalization of the racial discord aboard the USS Kitty Hawk in 1972, Mr. Hess has created an unflinching picture of life aboard a Navy carrier forty-seven years ago, in a work that builds in tension with each chapter to a decisive climax, bloody, but prescient with hope.” —Raymond Hutson, author of Finding Sgt. Kent
“From the opening chapter Hess plunges you deep within a Navy aircraft carrier where a brutal black vs. white event has occurred, with characters rich enough to have stand-alone stories of their own. Powerful is not only the first word that comes to mind when describing No Salvation, it’s the best word.” —Jonathan Brown, author of the Lou Crasher series
“Hess, himself a Navy veteran, knows exactly what he's doing, and has given us a riveting and compelling story firmly based on real events from the closing days of the Vietnam war.” — Tim Bazzett, author of the Cold War memoir Soldier Boy: At Play in the ASA
The “black car” has appeared both conspicuously and inconspicuously throughout the annals of fiction—its presence both mysterious and menacing, its appearance enough to pause your heart.
It’s the sedan just within sight that seems to be mimicking your speed and movements as you walk down the dark deserted street late at night. As the hairs rise on the back of your neck you wonder, Who is behind the wheel and what is the driver’s intent? It’s The Black Car Business and its presence means your life is about to abruptly change. You try to assure yourself there’s nothing wrong, but your pace quickens nonetheless, and soon you’re running, desperate for that narrow sliver between two buildings to slip through, the one too narrow for the black car to pass through.
It’s that car parked just down the block that sends chills down your spine and keeps you awake throughout the night.
It’s the sanctuary you race toward when you’re being chased, only to explode when you turn the key.
It’s the one that skids off the icy mountain overpass and plunges into the cavernous grotto.
It’s where Clemenza garrotes Carlo just as he’s about to be driven to the airport.
It’s The Black Car Business.
Turn the pages as ten masters of the noir art befuddle and frighten you with their stories. We promise a read you’re sure to enjoy.
Contributors: Eric Beetner, J. Carson Black, Cheryl Bradshaw, Diane Capri, Jeffery Hess, Lawrence Kelter, Dana King, Allan Leverone, Simon Wood, and Vincent Zandri.