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Murder for Hire

Murder for Hire Cover

Murder for Hire

My Life As the Country's Most Successful Undercover Agent

By Jack Ballentine

Thomas Dunne Books, Hardcover, 9780312384524, 320pp.

Publication Date: June 9, 2009


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.

About the Author
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. He also served as a homicide detective for the Phoenix Police Department. He is a three-time Police Officer of the Year, and has been awarded both the International Investigator of the Year and the Medal of Merit. He currently serves as the Director of Investigations for the Phoenix Fire Department. He lives in Mesa, Arizona, with his wife.

Praise For Murder for Hire

“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

“He effectively captures the violence and degradation of underclass criminality, where the lives of drug dealers, bikers, white supremacists, prostitutes, strippers and career criminals intersect.”—Kirkus Reviews