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Murder for Hire: My Life As the Country's Most Successful Undercover Agent Hardcover – June 9, 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“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
 

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.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition edition (June 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312384521
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312384524
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #902,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
During Jack Ballentine's prime as an undercover operative for the Phoenix Police Department he stood six-foot-five inches tall... weighed two-hundred-eighty-five pounds... had hair down to his butt... and could bench press four-hundred-five pounds. His specialty was posing as a professional hit man. Jack had to take on many different persona's during his over fifteen-year "hit man" career... and they ranged from biker-gang warlord... to Mafia hit man.... to soldier of fortune... to disgruntled Vietnam vet... to Aryan Brotherhood prison convict... to dying restaurant owner... to transient... and even a construction worker just out of prison. The author shares his entire career with you as it becomes overly apparent what the two biggest problems he faced daily were. The first problem is the most obvious... the fear of being "outed" as a cop while in the midst of a life and death situation with an individual who has decided that their life has spiraled into such a no-win situation... that they're willing to pay an almost unknown individual to kill another human being. The second problem was purely personal. Personal for Jack and the family that he eventually became a part of... and that was that Jack would have gotten so deep into whatever lowlife character he was becoming... for such long periods of time... he found it harder and harder... to not only shed the "skin" of his current hit man guise... but at times he couldn't differentiate which character he really was supposed to be.

Jack would hang out at dingy strip bars... hang out at crack houses... associate with child molesters... drug dealers... bikers... and even a "man" who "WANTED TO TORTURE AND KILL BOYS AND MEN FOR HIS SADISTIC PLEASURE AND TASTE THEIR BODY PARTS." There were many lines that Jack wasn't allowed to cross...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been looking forward to the release of this book for 7 months. I had a hard time putting it down. Because life is so busy and this book is so good, I actually took a vacation day to finish it! My daughter was able to swim while I lay by the pool reading about the grungy undercover work of a hitman.

I loved the balance of grittiness with the underlying love story. Something for everyone.
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Format: Hardcover
Incredible book, incredible man. Well written and takes you into the life Jack lived, as if you were a part of his undercover team. The principles Jack lived by should be everyone's goal in life. Well done Jack!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fantastic! Very interesting book written by the man that actually lived it. A very humble man telling it like it was, risking his and his family safety to do the right thing. He helped put a lot of very bad people away, so they can't hurt anyone else. He's highly respected by his department and cops are hard to impress. I happen to work at the same department, so I've seen and heard it first hand.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a page turner! I am NOT an avid reader, but Jack is engaging and shares not only his experience working undercover, but also at home. Jack is an engaging individual in person, and his book is no different.
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Format: Paperback
After reading the book I feel I know Jack, or at least the type of person he must be. Can't say that I was totally impressed with the way he told his tale(s) but he certainly has had a successful and varied career. He tells us over and over how he adopts different characters and how he makes them believable. I could have gotten that from just a couple mentions in one chapter. The book would have been more interesting with more detail about the people he caught, I think. However, just the experience of hearing the dialogue which goes on between a 'hit man' and someone heartless enough to try to set up a kill on family members was pretty gripping.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I heard Jack Ballentine speak before I read the book. It gives me hope to know that there are people like this willing to do their best to make the world a better place to live. I thank you Jack you and all your brothers and sisters in public service! And I thank you for writing this book and giving us some insight into the ways you folks make us safer.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Got this book based on the reviews other readers gave it and I am happy that I did because this was one of the better books I have read in a long time and I have read alot of books in my time. This book is funny, scary and sweet at the same time and hearing what drove some of these people to do what they wanted to do was interesting and heart breaking because the lives of everyone involved were changed forever.
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