About the book: Retired detective T.J. Peterson is working the table scraps that his former partner, Danny Little, sometimes throws his way. One of them has Peterson hearing from a snitch about a body buried 30 years ago, the same time a drug kingpin went MIA. Peterson is also ducking an ex-con with a grudge, a hitman who likes playing jack-in-the-box with a 12 gauge. Then a former lover re-enters Peterson’s life and begs him to find her daughter, an addict who knows too much about the local drug trade for her own safety. The search for the girl and the truth about the 30-year-old corpse takes Peterson down into the hell of it all, deep into the underworld of crack houses, contract killing, money laundering, and crooked professionals doubling down on their investments of black money.
About the author: Bob Kroll has been a professional writer for more than 35 years. His work includes books, stage plays, radio dramas, TV documentaries, and historical docu-dramas for museums. The Hell of It All is the second novel in a projected trilogy featuring T.J. Peterson. Kroll lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Visit Bob Kroll’s website to learn more about him.
Available: March 14.
Chapter One (cont’d)
Continued from March 9 on Do Some Damage
“You think I’m an errand boy?” Peterson said. “You thought wrong. You’re holding both ends of the same stick. Wrong word whispered in the wrong place, and someone opens you like a Ziploc. You’re no undercover hero. You’re a goddamn snitch!”
Turtle’s mouth moved, but no words came out.
“So what’s your bargaining chip?” Peterson pressed. “Otherwise I’m out of here, and your name gets scratched off the list. And you know what that means — you get no calls, no favours, and no insurance when the time comes and you need a good word for whatever charge comes your way. And if that’s not enough, try this on for size: The nice-guy call to child services about your old lady, the call Danny was going to make, it doesn’t happen.”
Turtle swallowed his first few words, then tried again. “I overhear things, bits and pieces. I take what I get, you understand? I don’t ask questions.”
“What are you not asking questions about?”
“About rag asses jumping drug deals, you hear what I’m saying? Wearing masks and shit. Heavy duty. They’re muscling hand to hand. Strictly petty cash. Pissing off a lot of people.”
“Like Sammy O.”
“You brought me out here to talk about Sammy O pissed off at someone ripping off drug dealers? You got to be kidding, right?” Peterson knew Sammy O as a six-foot overweight slob who swaggered around the north end. Sammy and his boys casing the neighbourhood meant bad news for anyone getting in their way.
“There’s a body too.”
“Buried in Laurie Park, like thirty years ago.”
“They didn’t say.”
“Who didn’t say?”
“That’s something I ain’t giving right now.”
“And when are you giving it?”
“After you find the body, and I get what I want.”
“Where in the park?”
“In the campground.”
“It must be forty acres under six inches of snow. You got a campsite number?”
Turtle shook his head.
“We’re talking holes again, Turtle. The last time, you had us digging holes like we were gophers.”
“The last time was on someone else’s say-so,” Turtle said. “This one I heard myself. And what are you griping about? The last time, you found the body.”
“But not where you said it was.”
“You never knew Jonah was missing. It was my heads-up that got the cops looking for Jonah. Same thing with what’s buried in the park. So I put something on the table, and now it’s your turn to put something up.”
“For rag asses and a thirty-year-old body buried someplace you don’t know.”
“But you don’t know the number. There could be thirty, forty, maybe a hundred campsites in the park. You want us to dig up every one on your say-so?”
Excerpt to be continued on March 12 on Books, Life & Everything
Excerpted from The Hell of It All by Bob Kroll. © 2017 by Bob Kroll. All rights reserved. Published by ECW Press Ltd. www.ecwpress.com