RARA-AVIS: MacTaggart's War

From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 21 Jan 2003

In a message dated 1/21/03 4:01:42 AM Eastern Standard Time, James Reasoner writes:

<< Fawcett/Popular Library did a paperback of this book in 1980. I may even
 own a copy of it, though I can't guarantee that at the moment. I'll have to
 check. I know I have all the Hardman books, though I've never read any but
 the first one. I read that back when it was new and didn't care for it, but
 that may have been because it was packaged to look like an Executioner-type
 series and definitely wasn't. From what I've read on here, I need to
 revisit that series and should also check out MacTAGGART'S WAR. Sounds like
 a good book.
 By the way, there's also a British PB, from Coronet, published in 1981.

Well, I'll be damned. I've never seen a copy of the paperback in twenty years of used book searching, although its possible that stores put it in the adventure or mainstream section. But I wasn't basing the "no paperback" statement just on that experience. I looked Dennis up in Hubin's bibliography (1994 edition) and he includes the novel but only lists the Holt and Hodder editions. Oh well, now that I know its out there I will probably see them on every shelf.

As for the best Hardman novel, it has been a number of years since I read them but I liked THE CHARLESTON KNIFE'S BACK IN TOWN. It is based in part on a real life crime. All the highrollers who came to Atlanta for the Ali/Jerry Quarry fight in 1970 were invited to an Ali "victory party" that turned out to be a setup for a mass robbery.

The Hardman novels were among the worst packaged series ever. "HARDMAN is a great new private eye for the shockproof '70s." The artwork was pitiful and, of course, the character's name was Jim Hardman not just a brand like the Destroyer. WORKING FOR THE MAN, which is #7 in the series, also lingers in my memory as a good one.

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