Thursday, July 23, 2009

81. Murder For Hire

By:  Jack Ballentine
Rated 4 Stars
From:  Library

I didn't think this book was very well written but then the author never said he was a writer. He was an extraordinary man with an extraordinary story to tell. I learned about this book from listening to Coast to Coast, the crazy late night radio program I turn on when I can't sleep at night.   I listened to him being interviewed on the radio by the weekend host Ian Punit and he comes across much better in an interview than he does in the written word.  I probably would not have finished this book because I don't think I would have believed it had I not heard him being interviewed where he  came across to me as good, decent man who spent an incredible 15 years doing a very dirty job for the decent citizens of his State.  I was looking for a change of pace book after wallowing around in English History in the Moreland Dynasty and I certainly found it in this book.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Jack Ballentine became a Phoenix police officer in 1978 and quickly rose to become one of the world's most successful undercover operatives. His specialty: posing as a hit man. None of the people who hired him had any inkling that he was actually a cop, and he obtained 24 convictions out of 24 indictments on murder conspiracy charges. He worked with criminals of all sorts, from vengeful spouses and partners to the criminally insane, with one thing in common: the desire to have someone killed. In assuming an alternate identity and developing a reputation among the Phoenix underground--bikers, strippers, junkies, and thugs--Ballentine developed an intricate network of sources who kept him extremely busy. All the while, he strove for the semblance of a normal life with a new wife and stepson. His story is a unique look at how law enforcement delves into the heart of the criminal world.--From publisher description.
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