A Hurt for a Hurt- A Dan Ballantine Mystery by Mark Travis

Posted on May 16, 2012 by 1 | 0 Comments

On Jeff Sanford’s 21st birthday, his Sigma Pi fraternity brother, Tyler Thompson, offers to buy the first round at Sacramento’s Overtime Sports Bar. Four brothers join them in the celebration. Several beers later the Lakers are beating the Kings, and a group of rowdy Laker fans are beating the Sigma Pis on the pool table. When Laker fan Josh Goldman loses a game of 9-Ball to Jeff Sanford, he makes nasty remarks about Jeff’s sexual preference and his mother. Jeff punches Josh, Tyler socks the Laker fan closest to him, and other fights start. While the bartender calls the cops, Jeff whacks Josh with his pool cue. Josh goes down, and most patrons head for the parking lot. Joshua Goldman dies in the ambulance, and Jeff Sanford, charged with murder, pleads guilty to voluntary manslaughter for eleven years in Folsom Prison. Jeff Sanford gets out in five, and, two weeks later, a killer knocks on his door and shoots a small bullet through his right eye. When the case cools, Kyra Simmons, Jeff Sanford’s sister, asks her Private Investigator friend, Dan Ballantine, if he can prod the cops to work the case harder. Tyler Thompson is murdered before Ballantine can talk with his Sacramento homicide detective pal, Sergeant ‘Harker’ Smith. When Curt Hendricks is shot dead in Southern California, Dan decides the killer has three more Sigma Pis to murder. He hits the road to warn them and see if they have information which might help him identify the killer.

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