Saturday, February 28, 2009

Hardcase by Dan Simmons

Hardcase My Rating: 3.5 stars
Published: July 2001
Pages: 288
Sub Genre: Hard-boiled Suspense/Thriller

Think Pulp Fiction with Roid Rage and you'll have a taste of what's in store for you with Hardcase. This is one action-packed, graphically violent, pared down to a bare minimum, hard-boiled suspense novel.

 Former Private Investigator and ex-con Joe Kurtz spends 11 years in prison after avenging the death of his partner and lover Samantha Fielding. While in jail, Kurtz protects & befriends Steve Farino, the son of New York mob boss. Don Farino becomes Joe's first client on leaving prison when his services are engaged to locate mob accountant Buell Richardson.

Kurtz has his own very amoral code of honour which he adheres to strictly, making him a kind of 'endearing' anti hero. Simmons gives readers a veritable feast of psychotic killers; Malcolm Kibunte, Cutter, DooRag, the Alabama Beagle Boys, an assassin known only as The Dane and Manny Levine, a dwarf who looks like a mean version of Danny DeVito. Manny is seeking revenge for the death of his brother, Sammy (the germ who killed Joe's lover.) These guys make Joe Kurtz look like he has a spot reserved in heaven. 

Full of twists & double-crosses, this is a fast, page-turning read but not really the most believable. Hardcase is the first of three Joe Kurtz novels - Hard Freeze & Hard as Nails. 

Still undecided whether I'll be reading more of Joe Kurtz, maybe I'll stick to Dan Simmons' science fiction novels. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow...this sounds pretty dark. I probably gravitate more towards his science fiction, too. Maybe someday if the mood is right, I'll try this one. Seems like the older I get, the more violence (in film and on the page) gets to me. Not sure why that is.


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