by Dan Simmons

St. Martin's Press, July, 2001.
Hardcover, 263 pages.
ISBN: 0312274971

Hardcase by Dan Simmons Ex-private investigator Joe Kurtz has just gotten out of prison for killing the man who raped and murdered his girlfriend. Although he's on parole, he determines to go back to his career as a private eye. After looking up his ex-secretary and finding some office space in the basement of a porno bookstore, Kurtz sets out on his first case: tracking down the missing accountant for aging mobster Byron Farino. Don Farino's family and employees are less than happy about Kurtz joining the business; there are also some very nasty people on his trail who blame him for a death that occurred while Kurtz was in prison. The further that Kurtz looks looks into the case of the missing accountant, the higher the body count gets. Soon Kurtz is hip-deep in violence, conspiracies, and mob politics.

Dan Simmons is best-known as the award-winning author of the Hyperion SF series. However, Simmons is a man of many talents, and his new hardboiled p.i. series ranks up there with the best talent writing today. Hardcase is, as the name implies, a gritty, hardboiled, violent story full of lean prose, subtle black humor and top-notch writing. Kurtz himself is one man wrecking crew; he's tough, he's mean, but he lives by his own code of honor, in the classic p.i. tradition. This is a fast-paced, exciting, and expertly written book that is a welcome addition to the genre. Highly recommended.

Hardcase is available for purchase on Amazon.com

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This review was published in the July, 2001 of The Internet Writing Journal.

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