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This is Life by Seth Harwood
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This is Life (2011)

by Seth Harwood

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“It doesn’t matter how you got here, because you in it.” – Freeman

Ex-action movie star Jack Palms seems to find himself “in it” quite a bit. When we last saw Jack in series opener Jack Wakes Up, he had barely managed to extricate himself from between a rock and a hard place in the middle of a Bay Area drug war.

As we catch up with Jack in This Is Life, he has just returned home after a long cross country motorcycle trip he used to clear his head and get back on track. Unfortunately for Jack, his attempt to pursue a low key life is about to be derailed once again. While standing in his living room on the night of his homecoming contemplating the charred remains of his bed that awaited him upon his return, someone takes a shot at Jack through his patio door. He gives chase, but is only able to catch a glimpse of the shooter’s car as it speeds away.

Jack heads to SFPD headquarters the following morning to report the incident to his frenemy Sergeant Mills Hopkins, but instead of taking his report Hopkins recruits Jack to look into the killing of an SFPD officer. Turns out the officer was involved in questionable activity, and someone high up in SFPD bureaucracy doesn’t seem to want the crime solved and is hampering the investigation. How other than a cover-up to explain an official report of “suicide” for a corpse whose head was nearly obliterated by what was obviously a .50 caliber anti-tank gun based on the other holes that riddle the vehicle? This doesn’t sit well with Hopkins, who wants Jack to use his hard earned recent experience of how to work the angles between warring factions to get to the bottom of things.

Upon accompanying Hopkins to the scene of the officer’s murder, Jack is shocked to discover the body sitting behind the wheel of the same car he saw speeding away from his house. Further complicating things, the body of a young woman whose throat was cut is in the back seat of the car, though the lack of blood clearly indicates the woman was killed elsewhere. Who was she, where was she killed, how was the officer involved, and how is Jack supposed to solve a crime that people at the highest level of the SFPD don’t want solved?

Enlisting the help of friend and former NFL lineman Freeman Jones, Jack begins an investigation that soon uncovers a high-stakes sex ring run by Alexi Akakievich, a Russian drug dealer who has weaseled his way into the upper echelons of San Francisco’s political and business communities. Jack isn’t the only one looking into things, however, and soon runs afoul of the FBI when he inadvertently blunders into their ongoing investigation. So much for the simple life, as Jack once again must do the best acting of his life in order to save his life.

Yet despite his best efforts – and a lot of bullets and bodies – Jack finds himself in a precarious position at the end of This Is Life, with not all questions answered or loose ends wrapped up.
  AllPurposeMonkey | Apr 19, 2012 |
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Jack is back! In this bigger, better, and more bad-ass sequel to the grass-roots sensation Jack Wakes Up, former movie star Jack Palms returns to find San Francisco spiraling into chaos.

When a crooked cop is taken apart by a .50 caliber anti-tank gun and the SFPD rules it a suicide, Sergeant Mills Hopkins hires Jack to find the cop-killer—and who’s covering things up. Teaming with former NFL lineman Freeman Jones and sexy Federal Agent Jane Gannon, Jack discovers that Russian pimp and drug runner Alexi Akakievich is cleaning house. Across the city, beautiful young sex slaves are turning up dead—a public message to their politically connected owners that Akakievich no longer needs their business. Now he just wants their power.

Soon Jack finds himself dodging both .50 caliber shells and double-crosses as he struggles to determine how high the city’s corruption goes and how far he’ll descend into the violence and depravity of his new life to stop it.
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