Yard Dog


Honourable ex-con Jack Palace struggles to repay an unstable criminal who saved his life.

What does a man do when he gets out of jail? Jack Palace hits the streets, plunging back into a violent world of crime and corruption. Jack wants out, but first he must repay his debt to Tommy, the man who saved his life in prison. Tommy’s dad, an old school mob boss, is on his deathbed, and Tommy wants to take over the old man’s rackets. Jack and his new girlfriend, Suzanne, are soon caught in the middle of a mob war. Now Jack must fight to defend the people he loves from the man he has sworn to protect while he tries to get out of the criminal life alive.


An old school noir romp through the belly of the city, splashing sex and violence all over Spadina Avenue. Pasquella confidently squeezes pulp right out of the pavement and onto the page.

— Andrew F. Sullivan, author of Waste and All We Want is Everything

The writing here is very impressive: gritty and profane but also (in the right places) tender and quite moving.


A rusty syringe of lurid pulp thrills. Pasquella's love of old school crime fiction is clear, but like a beer bottle smashed across your jaw, he’s jolted the genre into the 21st century.

— Elan Mastai, author of All Our Wrong Todays

Yard Dog is a tightly written, fast-paced thriller with a deft mix of real heart, surprising humour, and a deep affection for its setting even as it drenches Toronto's streets in blood. A.G. Pasquella knows his James Ellroy and his Elmore Leonard, and he blends them into a powerful overproof cocktail of gangster mayhem.

Chris Turner, author of Planet Simpson and The Patch

Kudos to A.G. Pasquella for bringing us Jack Palace, a razor-sharp modern-day noir anti-hero who is vulnerable in all the right places. Set in Toronto, the city comes to life, gritty, pungent and morally rotten, but fragrant with the scent of vanilla cookies and charged with martini-fuelled sex. The pillow talk will crack you up… Yard Dog is fabulous, original and noir to the bone!

Lisa de Nikolits, author of No Fury Like That and Rotten Peaches

Let’s hope the second Jack Palace [book] is published soon; otherwise, readers might get impatient waiting for it.


We're glad things don't go too smoothly for Pasquella's ever-conflicted but hopelessly romantic hero... because then there might not be another installment to look forward to.

Apple Books

Readers who enjoy an intelligent take on gangster fiction might want to give Yard Dog a try.

Tzer Island blog

He has created some really compelling characters that you just keep rooting for. I love Jack Palace. I love how badly he wants to just escape this kind of life, and how much it’s his sense of honour and morality that keep sucking him back in.

Literary Treats blog

About the Author

A.G. Pasquella

Posted by Kendra on February 13, 2018
A.G. Pasquella photo

A.G. Pasquella

A.G. Pasquella is the author of two other books in the Jack Palace series, Yard Dog and Carve the Heart. When he’s not writing, he makes music with the bands Miracle Beard and LaserGnu. Born in Dallas, Texas, he now lives in Toronto, Ontario.