Dan Simmons Hard Freeze (The Kurtz Series)

ISBN 13: 9780316213509

Hard Freeze (The Kurtz Series)

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9780316213509: Hard Freeze (The Kurtz Series)
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Revenge has never been served so cold.
Joe Kurtz, former investigator and convicted felon, is on parole. But the years he spent in Attica didn't make his old haunts any safer. Back on the streets of Buffalo, he's already marked by a local Mafia don.
As if watching his back weren't enough work, Kurtz has also been hired by a gravely ill John Frears, whose daughter met a grisly fate at the hands of a murderer. Frears wants one thing before he dies: for Kurtz to find the fiend that the authorities couldn't. But the calculating killer--a master at changing identities--has a little unfinished business of his own. Dodging a contract on his head and tracking a serial killer on the loose, Kurtz plunges headfirst into the icy waters of revenge as both victim and avenger.

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Review:

Having proven he can write hard-nosed noir with 2001's Hardcase, prolific genre-crossing author Dan Simmons reintroduces his gritty protagonist Joe Kurtz and promptly pitches him into the icy waters of Hard Freeze. Two pages into the book, the ex-private investigator is just minding his business on the frozen streets of Buffalo and already he's got a contract on his head. As Kurtz says, "It was shaping up to be an especially tough winter." When he finds out who the money behind the hit is, Joe's already outgunned and outmanned but never outsmarted. This wily warrior is always one step ahead of whoever is chasing him, be they crooked cops, calculating serial killers, corpulent mob bosses, or not-so-distressed damsels.

Simmons has crafted a perfectly ruthless crime novel with a relentless pace that doesn't let up until the final page. The single-minded Joe Kurtz is a wonderfully flawed and deliciously soiled noir icon. He's smart, salty, literate, smushy in all the right places, and not somebody to cross. In all, Hard Freeze is a fast-paced thriller that successfully interweaves amazingly disparate plot threads in an explosive--really explosive--climax. --Jeremy Pugh

From the Inside Flap:

Oustanding Praise for Dan Simmons' Novels

Hard Freeze
"Hard Freeze makes for great escapist reading...get ready to dip into a terrific, take-no-prisoners read."-The Denver Post

"Readers looking for two-fisted, take-no-prisoners action should pick up a copy."
--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"A bristling climax...Kurtz makes a riveting protagonist for the noir-is-beautiful crowd."
--Kirkus Review (starred review)

"In addition to crafting one of the least likeable protagonists you'll ever find yourself rooting for... [Simmons] writes action scenes that'll leave your hands clammy on the page."--Booklist

"Hannibal Lecter meets the Godfather...violent, fast-paced, with a high body count, and plenty of sanguinary and pyrotechnic detail, this high-octane thriller should please both hard-boiled addicts and Simmons devotees...it's Simmons at his hard-driving best."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"This straight-ahead, no-frills read is sure to garner enthusiasm among fans of Richard Stark and Joe Gores."--Library Journal

Hardcase
"Within the first five pages of Hardcase, you know it's going to live up to its title...if you're after a hard-core, full-tilt rocket ride, you'll find it in Hardcase."-Rocky Mountain News

"[Simmons's] narrative is all sinew and bloody gristle...Hard to beat for a pulp-fiction beach-read,"-Publishers Weekly

"There's no letdown from explosives to hell-for-leather finish in this hard-as-nails detective story. Comparisons with Richard Stark's amoral bad guy Parker or Andrew Vachss's Burke are inevitable, but Kurtz is more Parker than Burke. There is no sentimentality or excess prose here, just unceasing action with a ragged edge...an exceptional tale of nonstop violence and double cross...enthusiastically recommended."-Library Journal

"With Hardcase, Simmons both pays homage to over-the-top pulp fiction and writes a remarkably good example of it...numerous and varied story lines remain remarkably lucid as Simmons treats us to a fast-paced thriller with excitement on every page."-Otto Penzler

"A dark...and cinematic story set among the surly and largely unloved denizens of Buffalo, New York."-Chicago Tribune

"Readers who figure hard-boiled fiction was a tapped-out river will find a leviathan tugging on the line when they sink their hooks into Hardcase."-The Denver Post

"[Simmons] handles the carnage here as confidently as if he'd teethed on a .45." -Kirkus Reviews

"Very tough, with a high body count...Simmons writes better than most, and his ex-PI, Joe Kurtz, who tries to hold on to a semblance of ethics while working for a semi-retired Mafia don, is an interesting character...there are some nifty Chandleresque twists and some nicely done upstate New York layering."-The Boston Globe

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