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Hard, Hard City

Hard, Hard City

5.0 2
by Jim Fusilli

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When a troubled, talented teenager goes missing, private investigator Terry Orr's search uncovers a hornet's nest of family secrets.

In just three short years, Jim Fusilli has garnered the kind of praise for which writers wait their entire careers: "Superior . . . This courageous and original writer works against the grain of expectations, looking to make


When a troubled, talented teenager goes missing, private investigator Terry Orr's search uncovers a hornet's nest of family secrets.

In just three short years, Jim Fusilli has garnered the kind of praise for which writers wait their entire careers: "Superior . . . This courageous and original writer works against the grain of expectations, looking to make our experience not easy but illuminative and true," proclaimed The Boston Globe. Publishers Weekly writes, "Fusilli's sense of place is stunning: a tangible, poetically evoked Manhattan infuses this complex, haunting story."

In the latest installment of Jim Fusilli's critically acclaimed series, enigmatic hero and occasional private eye Terry Orr has been asked by his precocious daughter, Bella, and her friend Daniel Wu to search for a gifted student who has suddenly disappeared. Terry quickly discovers that documents and cash have been stolen from the home of an elderly family friend with whom the boy had been staying. When Terry travels to the adolescent's New Jersey hometown, he meets with unexpected violence. And when he returns to the city, the trail leads to murder, as his own life hangs in the balance.

But Terry can't say no to this case; something about the damaged boy reminds him of his own difficult youth, as well as his constantly challenging relationship with daughter, Bella, who has begun to push her desperate father away.

Filled with brilliantly drawn characters and imbued with Fusilli's vivid evocation of New York, Hard, Hard City is a revelation.

Editorial Reviews

Patrick Anderson
Jim Fusilli's four novels about the New York investigator Terry Orr clearly put him among those we can count on for first-rate entertainment, and he may yet rise to my highest category … a writer with a rich and distinct voice.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
In Fusilli's fourth entry in this complex, character-driven crime series, Terry Orr, single parent and occasional private detective, is more analytical and less self-absorbed than he was in 2003's Tribeca Blues. Daniel Wu, the appealing friend of Orr's precocious teenage daughter, Bella, asks him to find the missing Allie Powell, a student at Manhattan's Fashion Institute of Technology. Orr, guilty about the lack of time spent with Bella and still haunted by the deaths four years earlier of his wife and son, agrees to look for Allie. What initially appears to be a simple search for a wayward teenager evolves into a byzantine trail of theft, violence, murder, blackmail and politics. Fusilli's themes echo those of his mentors, Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald and Robert B. Parker: wealth engenders dishonesty and corruption and, as with the latter two, neglected children. It's not hard to identify the culprits here, though their motives are only slowly revealed. Fusilli is a serious novelist who excels in creating a noirish view of Manhattan and strong characters whose relationships continue to evolve with each book. Agent, Mickey Choate at the Choate Agency. (Oct.) Forecast: The well-rounded Fusilli-he's also a music critic for the Wall Street Journal and NPR's All Things Considered-will embark on a 10-city tour, which should help keep his readership growing. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An NYC private eye encounters unexpected violence when he searches for a missing teenaged misfit. A few years after he lost his wife and infant son in a subway accident, the life of writer-turned-detective Terry Orr (Tribeca Blues, 2003, etc.) is keeping steady company with assistant DA Julie, whom he helps out on some cases while still shying away from commitment. Instead, Terry's life revolves around his teenage daughter Bella, whose life in turn revolves around basketball. When Allie Powell, a friend of Bella's friend Elixa, turns up missing, Terry agrees to nose around. The artistic Allie aspired to a design career and took classes part-time at Manhattan's Fashion Institute of Technology. To save on commuting from his home in Silver Haven, New Jersey-and, Terry later learns, to avoid the war between his wealthy parents-Allie stayed with venerable family friend John McPorter, who seems neither surprised nor alarmed about the boy's absence. McPorter mentions a recent burglary of his safe but stops short of implicating Allie. After stirring up a hornet's nest in Silver Haven, Terry returns to find McPorter impaled on the spikes of the cast-iron fence below his apartment. He encounters more brutally murdered victims and suffers a beating himself on the way to exposing a ruthless killer. Fusilli's plot gets shaggy, but his noir prose is peerless, as is his darkly romantic portrait of the Big Apple. Author tour. Agency: Lescher and Lescher

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
Terry Orr Series , #4
Product dimensions:
6.28(w) x 9.34(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

Meet the Author

Jim Fusilli is a music critic for The Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio's All Things Considered. This is his fourth novel.

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5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book and believe that I have found another series in which I enjoy. I love dectective novels but some of them can get old. Terry Orr is a great character and the mystery itself and how it unfolded was excellent. The only thing I didn't like was the flasback techniques he used because it broke up the pace of the story. I am definitely reading the back stories of Terry Orr and can't wait to read the next installment.
harstan More than 1 year ago
After years of mourning for his wife and their son who died in a train accident, private detective Terry Orr still struggles with the fact that his spouse was locked in a passionate embrace with another man while her son was on the rail tracks. She died trying to save their child¿s life. Terry cares for Julie, but is unable to tell or show her how much he needs her. His daughter Bella looks after him because she understands his pain and he will do anything for her......................... Bella asks her father to find Allie Powell, who has been missing for several days. Terry visits John McPorter, who shows the sleuth his open safe in which $471 and some envelopes were stolen leaving behind much more valuable items. Next Terry sees Allie¿s father Powell who believes the detective has the stolen items; his goons rough up Terry. He returns to John¿s house to find the man impaled on a fence and not long afterward the man¿s son is dead in a shoddy apartment building. Terry concludes that Powell seeks incriminating documents that John possessed and if he can prove this perhaps Allie can come out of hiding.......................... Jim Fusilli provides a dark urban noir that paints the meanness of city streets. The protagonist prefers being shot at or beaten up as less painful than his thoughts and enables him to escape from his growing unwanted feelings for Julie. The story line is action-packed filled with colorful secondary characters, but it is the sinister Manhattan skyline that makes HARD, HARD CITY a tale that fans of James Patterson will want to read....................... Harriet Klausner