PI Jack Reilly is short on cash so when Bucky, a friend of Jack’s incarcerated brother, wants to meet with the investigator Jack goes against his better judgment and agrees. Unfortunately, Jack made the wrong decision because Bucky is a blackmailer and wants Jack to be the backup for the information so the victim of the blackmail couldn’t just kill Bucky and have the information die with Bucky. Jack doesn’t want anything to do with it, but it’s too late – Bucky gets murdered and the information is on its way to Jack.
Jack doesn’t have the blackmail information or know what it is about, but the blackmail victim knows about Jack and thinks he might have the information. It’s a world of the mob and crooked politicians, and someone’s connections can keep them safe or get them killed, and Jack has lost his connections. Until Jack discovers the truth behind the blackmail, Jack must rely on his instincts and what few “friends” he has to stay alive. Hard Knocks is by Howie Carr who has also written the true accounts of The Brothers Bulger: How They Terrorized and Corrupted Boston for a Quarter of a Century and Hitman: The Untold Story of Johnny Martorano: Whitey Bulger’s Enforcer and The Most Feared Gangster in the Underworld.