From: Duane Swierczynski ( duane.swier@verizon.net)
Date: 22 Jul 2001

I have to second Ron's endorsement of HARDCASE. It's tough-as-nails from the get-go, starting with protagonist ex P.I. Joe Kurtz "place-kicking" someone in the balls. In addition to it being an excellent Stark homage, it's also a nice Stark-length read--short, not a single word wasted, able to be enjoyed in a single gulp.

Right now, I'm halfway through Michael Ledwidge's THE NARROWBACK, about a midtown Manhattan hotel heist gone horribly wrong. While it's not as ball-busting (and I mean that literally) as HARDCASE, it certainly qualifies as hard-boiled, and reminds me, too, of the Stark series.

--Duane Swierczynski

> I just last evening finished up genre-hopping author Dan Simmons' HARDCASE,
> his self-proclaimed homage to Richard Stark and the Parker novels (in fact,
> this novel is dedicated to Stark "...who sometimes writes under the wussy
> pseuodonym of Donald Westlake"). It's a fabulous homage, filled with all
> the elements that have made the Parker series a favorite among many of us:
> lean, tough, mean, violent; a brutal and gripping tale of sheer anti-hero
> ferocity - I can't recommend it more highly.

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