by Dan Simmons
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Hardcase by Dan Simmons

Once Joe Kurtz needed revenge--and revenge cost him eleven years in Attica prison. Now Kurtz needs a job, and the price is going to be higher. Out of prison, out of touch, Kurtz signs on with the Byron Farino, Don of a Mob family whose son Kurtz had been protecting on the inside. Farino enlists Kurtz's help to track down the Family's missing accountant--a man with too much knowledge of Family business to have on the loose.

But someone doesn't want the accountant found--and with enemies inside the Family vying for his throne, and turf warfare just around the corner, Farino needs an outsider like Kurtz to flush out who's really behind this latest affront. As the story twists and turns and the body count rises, Kurtz no longer knows who he can trust. Everyone seems to be after something, from the mob boss's sultry yet dangerous daughter, to a hit man named The Dane, an albino killer who is good with a knife, and a dwarf who is armed to the teeth and hell-bent on revenge. Kurtz has always been an ace investigator. Now he's about to discover that to get at the truth, sometimes you have to go after it--hard.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316213431
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 09/16/2014
Series: Joe Kurtz Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 635,962
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

In his twenty years of publication, DAN SIMMONS has won more than 50 major American and international awards for his fiction. Mr. Simmons lives in Colorado.

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Hardcase 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
After spending the last eleven years in Attica for murdering the rapist murderer of a friend and partner, former private investigator Joe Kurtz returns home. Being an ex-con, Joe can no longer work as a licensed sleuth, but still opens up an office and rehires his former assistant Arlene DeMarco.

Joe knows he needs to look elsewhere for work that will allow him to use his skills and experience. Joe uses a connection from prison to meet aging Western New York mob boss Byron Farino with a deal that the Don cannot refuse. Joe will find and return missing accountant Buell Richardson and uncover who is responsible for the hijacking of the Family¿s trucks. However, several people, perhaps close top the Don, do not want the accountant to surface plus hitmen want a piece of Joe¿s butt for money and personal reasons.

HARDCASE is just what the title says it is as it is an apropos label of the hero. Joe is a HARDCASE who is not afraid to stomp on anyone in his way except perhaps the people he cherishs like Arlene. The story line is as hard-boiled as a novel gets without being a cartoon. Surprisingly readers will find comfort by traveling all over Buffalo with Joe in a sort of Bronson-Death Wish manner. Dan Simmons, shows his versatility as he has written one of the more entertaining investigative tales of the year.

Harriet Klausner

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Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought the book was pretty good. They talked alot about sex and killing. Dan Simmons should have put more action in some of the chapters. I thought that he needed a better ending. I thought it was kind of boring but thats my opinion. I recommend that people should buy a copy of this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dan Simmons is so versatile and amazing. I have enjoyed every book I've read by him so far. I am going to take it to the next step and say that Joe Kurtz is by far my favorite characters in ANY book I've ever read! What a page turner! There is action from line one that drives the reader to want more. I just would hope Joe would be on my side, he's not one you'd want to cross paths with!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Please, Dan Simmons is perhaps the most versatile and adept writer possibly of all time (look, I read nearly everything worthwhile as well, from the classics bordering early written history through most of today's trash). Every soul that enjoys literature is robbing themselves in the 72+ years we have on this earth if they don't read just about every single, solitary thing Dan Simmons has ever written (especially the essentials like Carrion Comfort, Phases of Gravity, Song of Kali, the incredible and true-Simmons-fan surpriser Crook Factory, Children of Night, Summer of Night & most importantly...the greatest prose ever written...the Hyperion Series. Heck, even Darwin's Blade, LoveDeath, Prayers to Broken Stones, etc). I say this being a HUGE fan of Anne Rice, Tom Clancy mind you (even Stephen King to some degree, though mostly his older works & off color stuff like Eyes of the Dragon or most of all, The Stand and Gunslinger series).
Guest More than 1 year ago
Forget flowery prose. Forget overdone, drawn out narrative. Dan Simmons writes a with a raw, bare bones flare that would seem otherwise impossible to duplicate. Simmons has proven himself once again. He is one of the few writers adaptable and flexible to write in as many genres as he wants to and create a bestseller, regardless. His latest novel, Hardcase, is a dark, hardboiled thriller like no other.

Joe Kurtz is a private investigator who kills the men responsible for murdering his partner. He knows the price for his actions and spends eleven years in prison. When he is released, work is waiting for him.

Kurtz arranges to meet with the don of the Buffalo crime family. The `family¿s¿ accountant is missing and someone has been hijacking trucks loaded with weapons. It is very possible the family hiring him to find out who is responsible is the same family who does not want to learn the truth.

In a constant, harrowing and action-packed onslaught of pages, Dan Simmons tells a gripping story. The characters meant to be frightening and menacing¿are just that. Hard not to have to sleep with the light on. The dialogue is crisp and witty. The scenes are fast-paced and pulse pounding. In one night I read the book. For a long time, I will remember it. As usual, Dan Simmons delivers an adventurous novel that satisfies!

--Phillip Tomasso III, author of Third Ring, Tenth House & Mind Play (with BookBrowser.com)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dan Simmons was originally planning to publish HARDCASE under a pseudonym. Why? I¿m not sure, other than the fact that he pays homage to the ¿Parker¿ novels, which were written by Richard Stark (a.k.a. Donald Westlake), at the beginning of his book and that maybe he wanted to, at first, emulate the path Westlake took as a writer. Whatever the reason, I¿m extremely happy that Mr. Simmons decided to go ahead and have this exceptional entry into the ¿mystery¿ genre published under his own name. Otherwise, I probably would¿ve missed it. HARDCASE is a story that deals with ex-P.I. Joe Kurtz, a man who¿s hard as nails and can kill when the need arises, yet still has his own code of honor. When Kurtz¿s female partner is raped and murdered by Sammy Levine and Eddie Falco, he quickly extracts revenge on the two men and spends eleven years in Attica for it. While in jail, Kurtz helps out and protects Steve Farino, the son of Buffalo, New York¿s mob boss, Don Byron Farino. This leads to a job with the Farino Family when Kurtz is finally paroled. Kurtz offers his help to the Don in finding out who¿s trying to secretly take over the Family business of drugs trafficking and truck hijackings. There are a number of people, however, who¿d rather not have Kurtz sticking his nose in places it doesn¿t belong. Killers (Malcolm Kibunte and Cutter, DooRag and his posse of gangbangers, the Alabama Beagle Boys, and an assassin known only as the Dane) are hired to take out Kurtz before anything incriminating can be uncovered. If that wasn¿t enough, there¿s also Manny Levine (a dwarf who carries a .44 Magnum revolver and looks like a mean version of Danny DeVito), who¿s seeking revenge for the death of his brother, Sammy. Kurtz is going to find out that staying alive on the outside is a lot harder than when he was in jail. HARDCASE literally hooked me in the first six pages and kept me riveted to the couch, until the book was finally finished a few hours later. I knew I liked the character of Joe Kurtz the moment he threw Eddie Falco out of a six-story apartment window as police cars were pulling up to the curb down below, then turned around, opened the door to the apartment, and waited patiently on his knees with his fingers laced behind his head for the cops to come in. Few novels are able to grab a reader that fast and not let go! Kurtz proves to be not only smart and tough, but also loyal to the people close to him. There¿s his street-wise secretary, Arlene, and a homeless man named Pruno, who was once a college professor and speaks Latin, plus Doc, who¿s a night security guard in a vacant factory and has an arsenal of high-quality handguns for sell. Then, there¿s Rachel, the twelve-year-old daughter of his late partner, Samantha, and though it¿s never stated or actually implied, I think Joe is the young girl¿s actual father. Mr. Simmons (an author who has continuously proven his talent with such diverse novels as CARRION COMFORT, SUMMER OF NIGHT, SONG OF KALI, CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT, THE CROOK FACTORY, and DARWIN¿S BLADE) has written a book of such excellence that it deserves to win an Edgar or Shamus Award for the best ¿Mystery¿ novel of 2001. His writing is that of a seasoned pro, his multitude of characters are sharply drawn and never boring, and the story line keeps the reader, not only guessing right up till the final page, but rushing to get there. I hope that HARDCASE is only the first in a long line of ¿Joe Kurtz¿ novels to follow. This could easily be a series that would enlarge Mr. Simmons¿s fan base, plus hopefully put him on the bestseller lists where he truly belongs.