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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