School is back in session in Penns River, which means it’s football season in Western Pennsylvania. The Penns River team is loaded after a few substandard campaigns and the town is so revved up a new gambling ring opens to allow PR supporters to put their money where their hearts are.
The “entrepreneur” responsible has no idea how to set point spreads and nowhere to look for help; it’s not like Vegas handles small town high school football games. The vast majority of money put down is on the locals—who bets against their own kid, or the one next door?—and the team covers all the spreads; the cash paid to winners far exceeds what the operation takes in. Only organized crime offers loans to cover the shortfall, which opens the door to a whole new world of problems, including murder.
If only this was the only problem facing detective Ben “Doc” Dougherty and his fellow police officers but
• A motorcycle gang is solidifying its position in town.
• A civilian ride-along sparks controversy and an official complaint that re-opens an old wound for the department.
• A baby shower turns violent.
• A routine investigation leads to signs of possible police corruption.
• Doc’s cousin, Chicago-based private investigator Nick Forte—a man not prone to leaving things as he found them—comes to town to visit his parents.
Welcome to Penns River, where incomes rarely increase and crime rarely decreases. This would be bad enough if it were the same old crimes, but the changing criminal landscape constantly demands more from a police department in transition.
Critical Acclaim for The Spread:
“Dana King writes in a gritty crime noir style with a modern flair all his own. His books grab you from the first page and don’t let you go.” —Terrence McCauley, award-winning author of thrillers, crime and westerns
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