There's a killer stalking children in a small, North Carolina town...and the only one who can stop him is the local Sheriff, a man crippled physically and emotionally by a war that he's still fighting within himself. The haunting, powerful new thriller by Ralph Dennis, author of the legendary Hardman series of crime novels
The recently discovered, long-lost, 13th and final Hardman adventure sends the unlicensed PI to London to find a missing man...where he becomes embroiled in an ugly case of embezzlement and murder.
An ex-spy framed for betraying his country seeks to clear his name before he ends up in a grave.
Fans of Dennis (1931–1988) will welcome the author’s previously unpublished, hard-hitting 13th and final book featuring unlicensed Atlanta PI Jim Hardman. Dennis wrote, in the best sense, old-school hardboiled crime fiction. His strong prose and well-paced storytelling place him alongside the likes of George V. Higgins and Ross MacDonald.
Considering the excellent prose and Chandler-esque dialogue, it's surprising that Dennis never found acclaim. Tight plotting and a hero resembling Philip Marlowe; readers will want to discover the earlier books in this lost series
The Hardman novels capture the city of Atlanta; it’s class divide, social structure, racial tensions and corruption – issues such as gentrification, old money and the criminal underbelly. This one changes direction in unexpected and original ways several times, but most of all the femme fatale, Anna, is a complex take on the form, a fully rounded woman who makes the novel tick.
Praise for the All Kinds of Ugly and the Hardman:
Ralph Dennis was a master of believable action and surprising heart, with characters who could dish out the tough guy banter with the best of them. 'All Kinds of Ugly' is a beauty, though; a pure distillation of grade A, hardboiled pulp that dares to reach for more.