Shelfari edited the description of Dog Hills Thursday, November 22, 2012.
In a small town, everything is personal. Bollo had been a star, a football hero in a small town where football meant everything. But sometimes football heroes peak too soon. And sometimes the downside is a rough ride. Bollo’s town needed football and the heroes on the field because it had lost so much over the years. Now the town was down at the heels, down on itself, separated by a dirty river and a mean streak. Small towns with frayed collars can be particularly violent. The frustration of failures, big or small, must be released one way or the other, and the face to face fights on a Saturday night can carry the venom, the vitriol, the heat of a family war. This was the town Bollo came home to after his father died too young, after he blew out his knee out in a Notre Dame scrimmage, after he dropped out of college and gave up his scholarship, after he lost his driving wheel. Back home at 18, married to Bridget, his high school sweetheart, before he was ready. Now separated from her when he was. And choosing the bottle (if drunks have the capacity to choose) over his wife and child. Bollo hooks up with Eddy Sands, a thirty-something wannabe rock star, hustler, hood and loser, and the two enter a card game with the little guy, Benny Rabbi, who takes all their money. They're barely out of the building when somebody shoots Benny while he smokes his victory cigar. The problem : Benny was playing with the money of local crime boss Carmello who wants his money back or somebody’s head in a box. George Fuchs, detective and unofficial boss of everything that goes in the small town of Dog Hills, who also just happens to be Bridget’s uncle and Bollo’s protector, does what he can to keep the rank and file off Bollo’s ass, even though they figure he was the last one to see Benny Rabbi alive. Bollo’s hot, a suspect, a name remembered, and they’re coming at him from both sides of the street. Damaged because he’s damaged himself, Bollo's got to scramble to stay alive, to regain his life, to win back his wife. "Narrated with hypnotic rhythm, Dog Hills is a tight tale of redemption about an alcoholic ex-athlete who runs afoul of mob-connected crooks. I've read three out of four books by Mike Hogan, three stories about very different subjects, all told in a different voice, yet all unmistakably Hogan's - a painter of words with a vast palette of styles, keenly attuned to human frailties. You should, too." - Ro Cuzon, author of the Adel Destin novels, Under the Dixie Moon and Under the Carib Sun