Down & Out Books
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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

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Down & Out Books
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Published on
May 7, 2018
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Fiction / Crime
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This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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“With his finger firmly placed on sailors’ wartime experiences, Hess delivers a potent, thrilling collection of sharply drawn tales.” —Kirkus Reviews


The stories in Cold War Canoe Club are like vertical launch missiles that explode to reveal a darker side of the US Navy in a time when most of the action took place away from the headlines. Welcome to the period between World War II and the Desert Storm, when enemies were just as likely to be seen on radar as aboard the same ship.


The characters who populate the stories Hess has written face their own doom through dangers—foreign and domestic, including shipmates, spouses, secrets, lies, greed, lust, and bad decisions.


As Cold War Canoe Club unfolds, we witness the darkest recesses of war ships and the men who sail aboard them as well as the women who wait for them in port and at home.


There’s a submarine sinking in frigid waters, a pregnant Navy wife distraught over the Cuban Missile Crisis, a race riot aboard an air craft carrier, fist fights, loose women, bad luck, and bad decisions.


Hess’s sailors and veterans haunt deeply with the authentic sense of people being on ships at sea or at the ends of their ropes as civilians. These stories bristle with noir intrigue and energy, while transporting readers to worlds few have ever seen. A dark exploration of service men, officers, gentlemen, lowlifes, and those trying to navigate troubled waters across oceans and on land.


Praise for Cold War Canoe Club…


“Jeffery Hess combines a flair for gripping storytelling with a powerful lyrical sensibility to produce that rarest of birds: a book full of page-turners that read like literary fiction. Like Tim O’Brien and Kevin Powers, Hess writes with absolute authority about the military men whose lives he sees with utter clarity and intimacy.” —Pinckney Benedict, author of Miracle Boy, The Wrecking Yard, and Town Smokes


“Eerily timely and rendered with gritty realism, Cold War Canoe Club beckons us to recall a time when actions and attitudes appeared motivated by an entire world perpetually hovering along the brink of utter destruction. Each tightly woven gem of a short story represents a microcosm of the Cold War macrocosm, and dares to expose Hess as a genius for his artful juxtaposition of humanity’s brash boldness with humanity’s amnesic naiveté.” —Tracy Crow, author of Eyes Right: Confessions from a Woman Marine, and editor of Red, White, & True: Stories from Veterans and Families, WWII to Present


“Hess is one of those rare talents who tells a great story with compelling characters, pacing and action.” —Terrence McCauley, author of Sympathy for the Devil and The Devil Dogs of Belleau Wood


“Cold War Canoe Club presents an eclectic array of situations and stories all tied together by Hess’s hard-edged prose style and deeply-developed characters. In the smart, snappy tradition of Elmore Leonard and James Lee Burke, Hess is a writer who pulls no punches and delivers authenticity in rapid-fire doses.” —Steph Post, author of Lightwood and A Tree Born Crooked


“Smart, poignant, often slyly funny, these are stories that will both take your breath away and take you places you’ve never been before. A true and honest salute to much more than those who serve in the Navy, rich with history real and imagined.” —Fred Leebron, author of Welcome to Christiania and Out West


“Jeffery Hess reminds of the glory days or noir: wayward women, brawling sailors, and shadow-lurking heroes who were too hung over when redemption dawned. If you want a quick literary jab to your heart, any of Hess’s short fiction will do. Just finish burying that body, pal, and read.” —James R. Duncan, author of Blood Republic


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

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