Praise for CITY OF ROSE
"CITY OF ROSE has my favorite kind of hero, a tough guy romantic with a smart mouth and a dark past. Terrifically written, and populated with rich characters, this book had me by the throat from page one."
Chelsea Cain, New York Times bestselling author of ONE KICK and HEARTSICK
CITY OF ROSE, Rob Hart's latest Ash McKenna novel, is as sharp as the devil himself. Hart is a master storyteller who can turn a city into just as vital as any flesh and blood character.”
Brian Panowich, author of BULL MOUNTAIN
"CITY OF ROSE is hard-boiled with a soft heart and packed with the kind of patter and adrenaline-fueled plotting I loved about NEW YORKED. I hope this nomadic knight life becomes the norm for Ash."
"Appealing...readers will enjoy (Hart's) playful, jaded hero and twisty plot."
"Well executed and strikes an appealing balance, rough without being sadistic, gritty without being sordid. ...an engaging read...characterized by Hart's quick and witty turns of phrase."
"CITY OF ROSE is briskly told, and Ash’s arch, loopy narration is often very funny. It’s been a good season for thrillers with a touch of comedy."
"CITY OF ROSE is playful, snappy, and fun...The Portland setting allows Hart to play into his knacks for dialogue and comedic scene setting...this book is genre writing par excellence."
"CITY OF ROSE is as good as hoped...the sharp voice covers -- barely -- the raw emotion roiling within Ash as he searches for a friend's missing girl, learning parts of Portland he'd rather not see because in fact, he knows the violence within them all too well."
Sarah Weinman, editor of WOMEN CRIME WRITERS and TROUBLED DAUGHTERS, TWISTED WIVES
"CITY OF ROSE is a fun hardboiled thriller that features an involving mystery and memorable action scenes."
Dead End Follies
Praise for NEW YORKED - the first Ash McKenna novel:
"The New York of NEW YORKED is a place of heartbreak and murder that I highly recommend you visit." Josh Bazell, author of BEAT THE REAPER
"Outstanding...I loved this novel. It may be the most quixotic hard-boiled I've read in ages. With clever nods to Chandler and lots of muscular metaphors, Hart has written an achingly lovely farewell to one man's past."
"Hart's debut is a terse, grim, gritty, quickly moving noir that deftly explores post-9/11 New York...Ash is a wrecking ball of an investigator, a direct descendant of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer."
"Edgy... relentless pacing and strong sense of place." Publishers Weekly
"There are good action scenes, nice offbeat characters, but what lingers is the swoony dialogue... Noir with a tingle of doomed but sweet romance." Booklist
"A bloody valentine to a New York fast disappearing, this debut is an urban noir populated with memorable characters."
"A hard-boiled crime novelist in the vein of greats like Dashiell Hammett and James M. Cain, not to mention modern masters like Lawrence Block and Dennis Lehane."
Staten Island Advance
“The literary version of THE WARRIORS.” Lyndsay Faye, author of THE GODS OF GOTHAM
"One part Dennis Lehane, one part Lee Child, and one part pure Rob Hart." Jenny Milchman, author of COVER OF SNOW and RUIN FALLS
"With a deft eye for the dirt under its polished fingernails, Rob Hart finds the rotten core inside today's Big Apple." Todd Robinson, author of THE HARD BOUNCE and editor of THUGLIT
"New York is a verb, and the chase is on. You won't be able to turn the pages fast enough." Suzy Vitello, author of THE MOMENT BEFORE and THE EMPRESS CHRONICLES
“A masterful debut
this is a book that sticks with you.” CrimeSpree Magazine
"Clever, witty, full of attitudebut never full of itselfRob Hart’s debut novel doesn’t waste a syllable." David Corbett, author of THE DEVIL'S REDHEAD and BLOOD OF PARADISE
"Like a sucker punch to the guts before you turn the first page." Matthew McBride, author of FRANK SINATRA IN A BLENDER and A SWOLLEN RED SUN
A strip-club bouncer sets out to find a dancer's missing child in the second novel featuring the detective Ash McKenna. Leaving New York City in the wake of tragedy, Ash turns up working in a vegan strip joint in Portland, Oregon. His vow to keep a low profile goes out the window when he's warned not to look into the case of a dancer whose small child was taken by her junkie ex. The trail brings Ash in contact with both Mexican drug cartels and an ambitious local pol. This is familiar hard-boiled territory, but it's well executed and strikes an appealing balance, rough without being sadistic, gritty without being sordid. Ash's reluctance to use violence to deal with his adversaries resolves itself in a way that doesn't duck the moral quandary of pacifism, though the vengeance he finally takes isn't presented as triumphant, either. Still, that reluctance goes on too long. Ash's slowness in accepting that the bad guys are clearly not open to reason strains not just the credibility of the plot, but the hero's commitment to the safety of the stripper and her daughter. Occasional lapses into sentimentality don't detract from an engaging read, but they do fall short of the book's best moments, which are characterized by Hart's quick and witty turns of phrase. A novel in which a woman announces "This is the most I've smoked since I found out I was pregnant" is one to warm the hard-bitten cockles of a noir fan's heart.