Friday, November 28, 2008

Forgotten Books: HARDMAN #1 ATLANTA DEATHWATCH -- Ralph Dennis

I recommend any books in the Hardman series, but start with the first one. As you can see from the cover, they were marketed like any other men's adventure series from the '70s, but they were a cut above. Sure, Dennis wrote fast, but the writing's very good for the most part. Some books are better than others, but they're all fun if you like hardboiled p.i. stories. The setting (Atlanta) is different, and Hardman himself is an intriguing character. He has a black partner, Hump Evans, who's a bit like Parker's Hawk, and I wonder if Parker read this series.

From the back cover: [Hardman's] laws of right and wrong are his own, and he's willing to live and risk dying by them." The case involves "a beautiful blonde, a Black Mafia leader, a white politician, and a murder who strikes at victims regardless of race, creed or sex."

If you haven't read these books, you've missed a treat.

9 comments:

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks, Bill. Entirely new to me.

Randy Johnson said...

Entirely new to me as well. I thought I knew them all. Back then, starting with the Executioner, I sampled from all those men's adventure series. This one seems to have slipped by me though.

Bill Crider said...

This was marketed as a men's adventure series, but it's pretty straight p.i. fare with Dennis' unique vision. Great stuff. Trust me.

Glen said...

Got'em all. Great stuff, like Bill says.

bish8 said...

I agree. Got 'em all. Great stuff! This reminder makes me want to go back and reread a couple.

Bob Randisi said...

The Hardman books are some of the best P.I. books I've read. He was Parker before Parker.

RJR

Barrie said...

I've never heard of these. But I do admire someone who can write fast and well.

Juri said...

Bill, how do you know Dennis wrote fast?

Bill Crider said...

Just a wild-ass guess based on the number of books published in a short time period.