Thomas Dunne Books
Jack Ballentine became a Phoenix police officer in 1978 and quickly rose to the top as one of the world’s most successful undercover operatives. His specialty: posing as an undercover hit man. None of the people who hired him had any inkling that he was actually a cop, and his work led to a perfect rate of twenty-four convictions out of twenty-four indictments on murder conspiracy charges.
Murder for Hire is Ballentine’s story. He worked with criminals of all sorts, from vengeful spouses and partners to the criminally insane, all who had one thing in common: the desire to have someone killed. Ballentine could change his character at the drop of a hat, often imitating characters and “bad guys” from television and movies. In assuming an alternate identity and developing a reputation among the Phoenix underground---bikers, strippers, junkies, and thugs---he developed an intricate network of sources who fed him work and kept him extremely busy.
All the while, the author strove for the semblance of a normal life and balanced his rough-and-tumble career 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 Jack Ballentine’s Murder for Hire
I constantly battle with who I am and what I should sound like when I get calls. It becomes even more difficult in the early-morning hours when the phone rings and I’m in a deep sleep. I found it best to always answer, “Yeah,” and then let the caller carry on until I gather myself and I locate the character I need to be. It’s a tough transition from biker warlord to Mafia hit man. The phone rings all the time and I hardly ever know who the caller is . . .
I always play hard-to-get. I make you
“Jack Ballentine is a force to be reckoned with. Murder for Hire delves into the seedy netherworld of murder for hire, close scrapes, and life under cover. A fascinating read.”—Kerrie Droban, author of Running with the Devil: The True Story of the ATF’s Inflitration of the Hells Angels