Today we're pleased to share an excerpt of Bob Kroll's new novel. THE HELL OF IT ALL, available March 14.
The story: 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.
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.
The Hell of It All by Bob Kroll
Excerpt 2: Do Some Damage
Chapter One (cont’d)
Continued from March 7 on Novel Gossip
Turtle shut the flashlight, then leaned over the snowmobile and killed the motor. He removed the helmet and set it on the seat. He worked a wad of gum in his mouth.
“They dump you from the payroll, so how come you still doing them favours?” he said.
Peterson didn’t answer.
“Pensioned off for head games, right? That’s what I heard. You seeing a shrink?”
Peterson didn’t answer.
“I mean what’s with that?” Turtle said, talking with his gloved fingers as much as his mouth. “A girl cuts herself and bleeds to death, so what? I thought cops see it all the time. Car accidents and blood all over the goddamn road. Like that old guy the other day in a half-ton that took out a tollbooth on the bridge. I didn’t see it, but I heard. The guy goes through the windshield. You see that shit a hundred times, you get used to it. Like doctors do. I don’t mean the ones with the flu shot. I mean the ones who cut you open and fuck around with your insides.”
“You got something to tell me?” Peterson said.
Turtle pushed his head forward and frowned. “You’re the one begging for what I got.”
“You called us.”
“I called Danny, and Danny sends you.”
“Danny didn’t send me. We work together.”
“What did you hear?” Peterson said, hiding the discontent he’d been feeling ever since administration had labelled him a psych case and shown him the door to early retirement. Now he was getting the same dismissal from the bottom.
“I heard Danny only feeds you table scraps,” Turtle gloated. “And I heard you’re working them hard to get back in the department.”
Peterson took it on the chin.
“That puts you on the B-team,” Turtle continued. “Danny sends you, maybe Danny don’t think what I got is any good.”
“What do you got?”
“Not how it’s done. I get something before I give, a guarantee or something.”
“No guarantee. First you give, and if what you give works out, then you get.”
“Danny and me work it different. I’m talking favours, here. Only now I’m wondering if you can pull through on the favour I want.”
“What favour’s that?”
“Whatever favour I need.”
“Like finagling the child abandonment charge against your old lady?”
That caught Turtle off guard. He shifted his weight.
“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!”
Excerpt to be continued on March 10 on Debra’s Book Café
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