Nicholas Colt: world-class guitarist with a crippled hand, private investigator with a revoked license. His cash-under-the-table “security consultant” jobs are few and far between, but his crumbling self-confidence finally gets a boost when a young woman with deep pockets comes to him for help.
Wanda Taylor has a terminal illness, and she wants to find her biological father before she dies. Unfortunately, Colt soon discovers that the father in question was shot dead two years earlier in Key West. With his client determined to see that justice is served, Colt heads down there with more questions than answers.
And, with a serial killer known as The Zombie — a brutal psychopath who saws off the tops of his victims’ heads, scoops out their brains, and reassembles their skulls with Krazy Glue — on the loose, it’s no wonder some of the locals have redubbed the island Key Death.
About the Author
Jude Hardin is coauthor of the Dead Man series of adventure/horror thrillers created by Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin. His debut novel featuring Nicholas Colt — Pocket-47 — received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. The New York Times best-selling author Tess Gerritsen wrote, “Pocket-47 sucked me in and held me enthralled…[Nicholas Colt] is a character I’m eager to follow.” And David Morrell, creator of Rambo, called the second Nicholas Colt thriller, Crosscut, “fast, fierce, and relentless.” Hardin has held down a variety of jobs — from drummer to chemical plant supervisor to freelance journalist — each of which fuels his writing. When he isn’t creating his next story, he enjoys fishing with his son. He lives in north Florida.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I've probably read more than my share of PI novels at this point in my life. I say this not to brag, but to let you know that I have a history with detective novels, and the stereotypical smoking and drinking loner PI with a smartass attitude ready to take on the world and who just happens to be flat broke just doesn't quite do it for me at this particular juncture, unless he's an oldie but goodie. But if you're looking for a refreshing character, then Nicholas Colt just might be your man in the redefined hard-boiled world. With a crippled left hand, a revoked license for heroin abuse, who was once a world-class guitar player in the band Colt .45, an adopted daughter Brittney, and a wife Juliet, he's filled with more history than a dictionary. There's a serial killer on the loose dubbed The Zombie, who likes to devour his victims' missing organs, or so the media leads the casual observer to believe. Needless to say, this leads to a bit of a crisis, and the police certainly have their hands full. But what added a layer of amusement were the tidbits from Time Traveling Zombie Bikers From Darkest Hell Visit Nazi Germany, that sounded like the worst B movie ever produced, which only made these brief page interludes more amusing, and caused the total traumatization of twelve year-old Nicholas Colt, to the point that he has flashbacks in KEY DEATH. If that isn't enough to strike your fancy, Jude Hardin name-drops authors like an attention-seeking fame whore. While this might turn off some readers, I thought it enhanced the overall experience. There's the mention of Laura Lippman's NPR interview, PI Colt uses the name Clete Purcel--a great reference to James Lee Burke, whom I just happened to have finished his latest novel LIGHT OF THE WORLD--and Carl Hiaasen visited Gainesville for a reading and book signing. So I had a swell time, and I felt like I was privy to all of the jokes and tidbits. Like any good hard-boiled read, this novel has its darker moments. There's a plot point of an underage pornographic ring, and there's a male rape scene that also involves a young female victim being held at gunpoint. With both of them being raped, this takes sex to a whole new demeaning and complicated level. And then we reach the ending, where I was actually a bit intrigued and pleased with Jude Hardin's approach. *BEGIN SPOILER* Rather than have The Zombie spout off why he committed the crimes, he actually tosses Robbie Asbury and Jim Ballard under the golf cart, which ends up being a whole lot more believable. And The Zombie's life ends via a Vietnam-era fragment grenade, taking the term explosive death to a whole new level. *END SPOILER* If you'd like to have a Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR for short) at your local watering hole, and you'd like to have a PI to toss a few back with you, I can't think of a better guy than Nicholas Colt. Since it just so happens I have POCKET-47 in my Kindle queue, I'm looking forward to delving into his early life, and after reading this gritty tale, I may need to bump it a bit higher on my TBR list. I received this book for free through NetGalley. Robert Downs Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator