1938. One hot August day a turncoat Chicago accountant, in charge of maintaining twin sets of books and financial records capable of bringing down the Mafia from coast to coast, stumbles into Matt Jagger's Santa Barbara office. The well-dressed stranger sits down facing Matt, a knife buried to the hilt in his back. The man slumps forward and dies...without saying a word. One thousand dollars in bloody hundred dollar bills flutters from the corpse's hand, possible evidence of his murder, but there is no one else nearby to claim it. Matt decides the money must be his intended fee.
Even though no actual agreement has been reached, the private detective elects to take a chance on his new "client." It's been a slow month. Jagger's decision soon finds him at odds with police friends and organized crime. Within hours he's wired to old slot machines and tossed in the Santa Barbara Channel to drown. But that's just for starters. His next stop is a slab in the county morgue.
Members of murder for hire, the New York, Chicago and Los Angeles Mafia, in league with the corrupt Los Angeles political bosses from the mayor and police chief on down, are desperate to recover and destroy the evidence the dead man has hidden. Jagger also needs to die to cover any up possible loose ends. And it's not long before the consequences of the private detective's efforts to uncover what his benefactor was up to spread and they start costing his closest friends dearly. It appears only death with end up the winner!
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About the Author
Of particular interest to the writer are the turbulent years preceding and during World War II, when America and its citizens were just beginning to shake off the depression and discover their country's possibilities...both good and bad. The fictional heroes and heroines in his works are a rousing blend of human qualities, needs and flaws. Some of his villains and supporting cast are based on real people of the period. And his fiction often flows around and through actual traumatic events of the times. Matching the literary pulp fiction tone of the 1930's, Ross writes of tough good guys bending the law but with honorable intentions, up against morally corrupt villains with evil premeditation who hold the upper hand while no quarter is given by either side.
This third edition of the second book in the Matt Jagger, P.I. Series, "Three Times Dead," is available from Amazon in print, as a download and from Kindle books. Books 1 and 3, "Dead Eyes," and "Dead Certain," also in their third editions, are likewise available from Amazon and Kindle.