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.
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.
Nominated for the 2017 Anthony Award for Best Anthology/Collection
*** Proceeds from the sales of Unloaded will benefit the nonprofit States United To Prevent Gun Violence (CeaseFireUSA.org) ***
For the first time, more than two dozen crime and mystery authors have joined together to use the strongest weapon at their disposal—words—in a call for reasonable gun control in the U.S.A. In this collection you get all the thrills and excitement you come to expect from a great crime story, but without any guns.
From best sellers and writing legends to the brightest stars of the next generation of crime writers, the twenty-five authors here have taken pen in hand to say enough is enough. Gun violence has got to stop and this is our way of speaking out—by showing that gun violence can be removed from the narrative, and maybe from our lives.
It's not anti-gun, it's pro-sanity. And above anything else, these are thrilling crime stories that will surprise and shock, thrill and chill—all without a gun in sight.
The writers are from both sides of the political aisle and many of the authors are gun owners themselves. But everyone felt it was time to speak out. Featuring the talents of J.L. Abramo , Patricia Abbott, Trey R. Barker, Eric Beetner, Alec Cizak, Joe Clifford, Reed Farrel Coleman, Angel Luis Colón, Hilary Davidson, Paul J. Garth, Alison Gaylin, Kent Gowran, Rob Hart, Jeffery Hess, Grant Jerkins, Joe R. Lansdale, S.W. Lauden, Tim O’Mara, Joyce Carol Oates, Tom Pitts, Thomas Pluck, Keith Rawson, Kelli Stanley, Ryan Sayles, and Holly West.
Praise for UNLOADED…
“The 25 short stories in this thought-provoking theme anthology prove that clever crime writers can generate just as much mayhem, weirdness, and chills without the use of firearms.” —Publishers Weekly