RARA-AVIS: Hardman by Ralph Dennis

Mon, 4 Jan 1999 18:41:14 EST While flipping through some old fanzines (can't remember which) I came across
a piece on a men's adventure series, published by Popular Library in the
mid-70s, called Hardman, written by Ralph Dennis. The author wrote that Dennis
had died in relative obscurity, working at a used bookstore the last years of
his life. The synopsis of the series intrigued me and went on a hunt for some
copies. After a long search I was able to come up with the first book in the
series, ATLANTA DEATHWATCH. Halfway through this one, I gotta say this is some
of the best writing I've seen in the genre (men's adventure, mystery,
whatever). Tough marketed as MA, this is very much an action/suspenser.
Hardman is a disgraced ex-cop who becomes a P.I. who'll "take on just about
any case, especially the nasty ones." The writing and characters (Hardman's
sidekick is an ex-football player named Hump) very much remind me of Joe
Lansdale. Anyone else out there have any run-ins with Hardman? Does the
writing stay this consistent throughout the series? How many volumes in the
series? I also ran across a reprinting of one of the later volumes, CHARLESTON
KNIFE'S BACK IN TOWN, reprinted by Pinnacle in the early 1980s. Anybody know
how many were reprinted?

Peter Enfantino (the completist)
Deadline Press
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