Books by Jack Trolley

Released: June 1, 1998

Detective Sergeant Tommy Donahoo's horizon is suddenly thick with enemies, and what a motley group they are. There's the enigmatic FBI agent, for instance, with an agenda so secret it sometimes confuses even him. There's the enraged father of a loopy heiress, a murderous mobster, a ticked-off boss, and a pair of San Diego cops dedicated to jailing our maverick hero—this being somewhat unusual, since Donahoo himself is a San Diego cop: And the thing is, he keeps telling himself, the trouble looked unlike trouble at the outset. In a respectable, upscale bistro, here's Donahoo having a few quiet ones when a "smudged angel" in designer clothes homes in on him. Her name, she says, is Jumpy. It's not, of course, though —jumpy,— Donahoo soon discovers, is certainly descriptive of her high-energy approach to sex. In actuality, she's the heiress Travata Havershot. (Trolley has a fondness for creative naming.) Travata and Donahoo begin a torrid affair, objected to vehemently by her rich and powerful father. It's this very vehemence that earns Prescott Havershot III his billing as Donahoo Enemy Number One. Mad Marvin Molino—regarded by those in a position to know as a killer's killer—is Enemy Number Two. Nothing personal, understand; it's just that Donahoo was sole witness to one of Mad Marvin's wrongful actions. All of these various and florid plot elements eventually come together—more or less—as the put-upon Donahoo struggles to retain not just his job, but his girl and his life. Not much of what happens here can be considered plausible. On the other hand, it's all pretty lively and amusingly picaresque. Wayward Tommy (Juarez Justice, 1996, etc.) and that other Tom'surnamed Jones—are at least distantly related. Read full book review >
JUAREZ JUSTICE by Jack Trolley
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

San Diego's top homicide cop, world-weary Det. Sgt. Tommy Donahoo (Manila Time, 1995, etc.), heads south—to Tijuana, where the Mexican police say they need help solving the brutal rape/murder of Deedee Hernandez, socialite wife of a doctor with big-time connections. Was Deedee killed because of her do-gooder efforts to publicize the plight of thousands of ``dump people'' living on mounds of garbage? And have the town's evil forces (led by a monster known as ``Diablo'') managed to frame another decent activist, on Pedro Juarez, for the crime? So it seems—as Donahoo and his naive sidekick, rookie investigator Cruz Marino, are repeatedly doused in the cesspool of Tijuana's prisons, brothels, and bars. But, eventually, after more bodies surface and Donahoo gets alternately roughed up and sweet-talked (by a beautiful Tijuana lawyer with lips that ``pouted like little cocktail sausages''), it becomes clear that Donahoo and Marino aren't supposed to solve anything: They're being programmed to get so angry about the local horrors that they turn into ruthless vigilantes. Overheated, far-fetched corruption-melodrama, with more gross- outs than absolutely necessary—but readers who don't flinch easily will find steady interest in the darkly comic dialogue, unblinkingly grim reportage, and intriguing character tidbits. Read full book review >
MANILA TIME by Jack Trolley
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

Crooked cops, crooked crooks, and a secret weapon that could imperil the American way of lifeall riding the impossibly congested roads between San Diego and Tijuana. Sgt. Tommy Donahoo (Balboa Firefly, 1994, not reviewed), taking a break from a late-night stakeout, misses the execution that his partner, Investigator Chip Lyons, captures on videotapebut it's Lyons who misses the ensuing fireworks when he's killed himself in a shootout. Lyons's colleagues at the San Diego Police Department, preparing to give the dead hotshot a hero's sendoff, don't know that Lyons, claiming Donahoo's complicity, had offered villainous Nick Quillan the video for a $1 million payoff. And the first time Quillan phones Donahoo to offer him half a million, Donahoo blithely blows him off, making Quillan and his triggerman, Jimmy Taylor, think that Lyons's partner must be one tough hombre. As Quillan and Taylor move ahead with their plot to divert a donated heart from its intended recipient to a poor medical risk who's rich in other ways, they try to figure out how they can get something on Donahoo to trade for the tape. Quillan plans to kidnap Donahoo's unacknowledged dad, Father Charlie Donahoo, from the hospital where he's dying, but then decides rather endearingly that the old man is too sick and senile to be a worthwhile trade. Meanwhile, Donahoo is drawing a bead on both Lyons's sultry mistress, Rosie Gestring, and a device called the XLA-BMGS, and determined that whatever it is, Quillan and Taylor are after it. After a few more funny, nasty set-piecesQuillan and Taylor recruit the world's most innocent hijacking team; Donahoo and Rosie take turns bad- mouthing Lyons against a background of his inflated eulogyit's time for the bad guys to grab the heroine and for the hero to face the usual agonizing choice between the fate of the free world and the woman he loves. Moody riffs on a familiar strain, with a slam-bang finale. Read full book review >