Washed-up movie star Jack Palms is knee-deep in a Bay Area drug war and it’ll take the performance of a lifetime to get him through it alive.
In the three years since Jack Palms left Hollywood and kicked his drug habit, he’s added fourteen pounds of muscle, read eighty-three books, and played it as straight as anyone could reasonably ask. But the residual checks are drying up, and the ascetic lifestyle’s starting to wear thin, so Jack’s happy to cash in on his former celebrity by showing some out-of-town high rollers around San Francisco’s club scene.
Then people start turning up dead, and Jack realizes he’s been playing tour guide to a pack of former KGB agents turned coke dealers. Soon he’s got too many gunmen after him to count–including a South American drug cartel, a mountain-sized Samoan enforcer, and a mobbed-up strip-club owner with an army of thugs. That’s not to mention the gorgeous bartender who may be planning on shooting him in the back and the homicide cop who’s just given Jack twenty-four hours to bring down the Bay Area’s biggest drug dealer.
But the thing that scares Jack the most? He’s starting to enjoy himself.
Jack Palms is more interested in tuning up his vintage Mustang than starring in action films these days. Along with his failed marriage and plenty of bad habits, Jack abandoned his acting career three years ago and life’s just the way Jack wants it: boring.
But picking up where Jack Wakes Up left off, Jack now finds himself in the middle of a whodunit in the seedy red-light district of San Francisco’s North Beach. Young girls, shipped as merchandise from Balkan countries and sold to city heavyweights, are turning up dead and no one knows why. And closer to home, a crooked cop steps out of Jack’s past and into his backyard, taking potshots from the bushes at midnight. Sergeant Mills Hopkins, SFPD, thinks someone big is responsible for the bodies and the bullet holes. And if Jack is going to find out who’s pulling the triggers, he’ll have to forget about the quiet life and act more like an action hero.
Fourteen-year-old Junius Posey pushes weed for a small-time neighborhood dealer–a low rung on the ladder of the gangster life surrounding him. But when his older brother is shot dead, Junius grips a gun for the first time and starts climbing.
Flanked by his best friend, Junius sets his sights on the Rindge Towers, a low-income high-rise looming over the cold streets of Cambridge, Massachusetts–and lorded over by rival drug kingpins. When one of the Towers’ men draws down on him, Junius is forced to rack up his first kill–and face the hell that breaks loose.
Now, with a vicious, crack-addicted enforcer bent on paying Junius back in lead, even his mother thinks his best play is to skip town and lie low…maybe forever.
In this novella, one-time Hollywood action movie star Jack Palms (the star of Shake ‘em Down) returns to the page to investigate a crooked fighting tournament in San Francisco’s China Town.
Sponsored by the Chinese Triad gang, this tournament invites fighters of all styles to compete to the death for money and fame. In the tradition of the kumite tournaments featured in Bruce Lee’s iconic film Enter the Dragon and of course Jean Claude Van Damme’s Bloodsport, the Triads have cooked up a way to make money and exploit the betting whims of Chinatown’s elite like never before.
When attractive FBI agent Jane Gannon calls on Jack to ride shotgun on her investigation, it leads them both to a sympathetic kung fu killer, a series of fights that need to be stopped, and a situation that comes to a head in one of the biggest climaxes Jack has ever seen — in his life OR in a movie.