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Hardcase

(Joe Kurtz #1)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  1,949 ratings  ·  153 reviews
Once Joe Kurtz needed revenge--and revenge cost him eleven years in Attica prison. Now Kurtz needs a job, and the price is going to be higher. Out of prison, out of touch, Kurtz signs on with the Byron Farino, Don of a Mob family whose son Kurtz had been protecting on the inside. Farino enlists Kurtz's help to track down the Family's missing accountant--a man with too much ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 28th 2013 by Mulholland Books (first published 2001)
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3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,949 ratings  ·  153 reviews


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Dan Schwent
After eleven years in the clink, Joe Kurtz, eager to get back on his feet, signs on with the mob to investigate who is highjacking their trucks. But can Joe figure out who's stealing from the mob before someone from his past guns him down?

Wow. Dan Simmons knows how to spin a yarn. Hardcase is an homage to the Parker books for Richard Stark but manages to steer clear of ripoff territory.

Joe Kurtz is a former PI that winds up working for the mob and gets caught in the middle of a power struggle.
...more
Kemper
Oct 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you have any doubts that this one was inspired by the Parker novels, just check out the dedication: “This book is for Richard Stark, who sometimes writes under the wussy pseudonym of Donald Westlake.”

Joe Kurtz may be a private detective instead of a professional thief, but he can match Parker for sheer ruthlessness and poor social skills. In the first six pages of this book he sticks a guy's hand into a garbage disposal and chucks him out a window. For that little temper tantrum, Kurtz spends
...more
Robert
May 23, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-detective
This entire book is a cliche, but that doesn't stop it being entertaining from the first to the last page. The protagonist (he's not really a hero when one takes an objective view, yet he gains the reader's sympathy very quickly) is not hard-boiled, he's grilled on the forge Sauron used to make the One Ring. I'm surprised there hasn't been a film adaptation, since the book has the tone and plot of a crime-revenge-thriller-action movie. Looked at another way, it's Dashiell Hammett for the current ...more
Still
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Parker junkies; Dan Marlowe fans
Recommended to Still by: read about this series in a Facebook group
First entry in the "Joe Kurtz" series by Dan Simmons - a Donald Westlake as Richard Stark fan.
Like Dan Marlowe's "Earl Drake" series, the "Joe Kurtz" series is a "Parker" send-up, though Simmons "Kurtz" series is more a work of fannish love.

I really enjoyed this initial entry in the series and look forward to reading the other two "Kurtz" novels by Simmons that I own.

Joe Kurtz just completed an 11 year stay-over at Attica for a revenge-murder referenced in the first chapter. The first chapter ha
...more
Nate
Jan 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm starting to suspect Dan Simmons is a genius. I know that sounds ridiculous and hyperbolic but hear me out. The fact alone that he can write something as lofty and high-minded as Hyperion and something as gleefully lowbrow and uncouth as this book and they can both be so thoroughly and casually awesome has already made him one of my favorite writers. As a sidenote, I'm almost finished with The Terror so look out for that almost assuredly annoyingly-gushy review. What we have here is a no-fril ...more
Иван Величков
Ако очаквах нещо от висотата на "Хиперион" или "Summer of Night" щях да бъда много разочарован, обаче "Куфарът" ми предостави перфектния ноар, оправдавайки надеждите ми, че бате Дан изпипва всичко с което се захване.
Бърз, лаконичен и мръсен, романът преминава през всички клишета в жанра, маркирайки ги само като километрични камъни по пътя на болид с прерязано спирачно жило. Здраво бъхтене, пуцане и двуцифрено число обрати, събрани в 200 страници. Направо е престъпление, че не са превели и другит
...more
Mark Tallen
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was another excellent novel by the extremely diverse Dan Simmons. It seems that no matter what the type of fiction he writes in he excels at it. This hardboiled crime novel was a fantastic read. I read it over the weekend. It isn't a big novel unlike many of the authors other novels but for this type of novel I personally think that the length of it hit the sweet spot. As is normal for a Dan Simmons novel the characters and the locations were extremely well drawn and as usual the writing is ...more
Симеон Трифонов
Симънс е един от петимата ми любими фантастични автори. Ако Дик и Стругацки са божества в личния ми пантеон, то Симънс е първа резерва, редом с Глуховски. Намирам "Хиперион", "Ужас" и "Кухият човек" за задължителни за четене преди да умреш.
Курц обаче някак не му се е получил. Или по-скоро - получил се е, но така между другото, сякаш Симънс е имал нужда да разпише свободно, да почине между две велики книги. Знам ли, "Куфарът" ми се стори бутафорен, скициран, ненужен. Определено няма да прочета др
...more
byAx
Jan 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giallo, noir
Un certo genere di passato

Il romanzo si apre con: "Questo libro è dedicato a Richard Stark, il quale a volte scrive sotto il moscio pseudonimo di Donald Westlake".
Se conoscete uno dei due nomi sopra, la dedica chiarisce subito di che pasta è fatto il romanzo.
Se non li conoscete, magari è l'occasione per informarsi, potreste scoprire di conoscerlo comunque per via di quel Senza un attimo di tregua con Lee Marvin, o di quel Payback con Mel Gibson, o ancora di quel Parker con Jason Statham.

Questo S
...more
Nicoletta
Feb 21, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Abgebrochen

Enttäuschend nach den bereits gelesenen Romanen. Werde werder mit Charakteren, Setting oder verwendeter Sprache warm
Brandon
Jan 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2011
Over the past 2 years, I’ve discovered that my favorite books to read are crime fiction. I fell for the genre when I picked up my first Charlie Parker novel and have never looked back – reading stuff by Stieg Larsson, Connolly, Koontz and Jeff Lindsay. With those authors, I have yet to even crack open the proverbial briefcase of crime fiction but hey, you got to start somewhere.

When perusing good reads one evening, I noticed a few reviews for the Dan Simmon’s series about hard boiled ex-PI, Joe
...more
Chris Miller
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fun, but not life-changing hardboiled noir.

Kurtz gets out of prison after 11 years (he through a scumbag out of a window) and immediately gets back into what he used to do for a living: private investigations. He goes to see a local mafia Don and gets on the payroll to investigate the disappearance of their accountant.

And all hell breaks loose.

Everyone wants Joe Kurtz dead. And they keep trying. But Kurtz is as lucky as he is resourceful, and he manages to wage a one-man war through mobsters, ga
...more
Sheree
3.5 stars
Think Pulp Fiction with Roid Rage and you'll have a taste of what's in store for you with Hardcase.
This is one action-packed, graphically violent, pared down to a bare minimum, hard-boiled suspense novel.

Former Private Investigator and ex-con Joe Kurtz spends 11 years in prison after avenging the death of his partner and lover Samantha Fielding. While in jail, Kurtz protects & befriends Steve Farino, the son of New York mob boss. Don Farino becomes Joe's first client on leaving pris
...more
Will
Aug 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Hardcase is exactly what it says on the tin. It is a gritty crime novel with a fantastic protagonist.

Joe Kurtz has become one of my favorite characters in any book series that I've read so far. He is brutal, funny and you would want to stay on his good side.

This is a fantastic story where each character has their own personality and presence in the story, which is also an easy read once you have a clear image of each character, and Simmons does this perfectly. It is a fast paced story, full of
...more
LJ
Hardcase - Ex
Dan Simmons
When ex-PI Joe Kurtz emerges from Attica after an 11-year-stretch, he is still being sought by the brother of a man he iced for murdering his partner, as well as by disciples of a Black Muslim group whose leader he killed in stir. Not the most obedient parolee, Joe clandestinely resumes detective work, tracing a vanished mob accountant for aging don Byron Farino much to the aggravation of the don's family and associates, who are secretly double-crossing one another and jo
...more
Paul
Quote;
Kurtz sighed, forearmed the thug in the throat, bent him back over the sink, and jammed Eddie's right hand down deep into the garbage disposal. Eddie Falco was screaming even before Kurtz reached over and turned on the switch

Throughly enjoyed this book, dedicated to Richard Stark's 'Parker' character. Thank goodness Dan Simmon's didn't try to resurrect the 'Parker' character, only acknowledging it as an influence. Well written and entertaining, gritty and hardboiled and yes, something fan
...more
Nadia Karlikova
Голямо пуцане, безкрайни псувни. С други думи - много екшън. Не си падам точно по този тип произведения, но ме впечатли умението на Дан Симънс да пише в различни стилове. В "Куфарът" липсва мащабността на "Ужас". Тук всичко е само щрихирано, развива се шеметно, обратите са почти на всяка страница.
Личи си обаче колко усърдно е работил авторът върхи книгата. Проучил е в детайли престъпният свят, търговията с оръжие и наркотици. Наслада за душата е сцената с клошаря, бивш професор, който на два път
...more
Mike
Jan 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hard Case Hardcase by Dan Simmons is a definitely a favorite, Five Stars. “Kurtz sighed, forearmed the thug in the throat, bent him back over the sink, and jammed Eddie’s right hand down deep into the garbage disposal. Eddie Falco was screaming even before Kurtz reached over and turned on the switch.” That was page 3. What else can we expect from Joe Kurtz? Joe Kurtz is one tough cookie and you do not want to mess with this guy. I read the three Joe Kurtz novels in reverse sequence. Doesn’t matt ...more
Michael
I'm somewhat disappointed with this book. Dan Simmons, the author, gets a lot of rave reviews for his novels, so my expectations were set high. This book didn't really live up to them. I wasn't wowed.

The story is about P.I. who gets out of prison after doing an eleven year stretch for manslaughter. He resumes his investigation business (without a license) and picks up a case courtesy of the local Mafia don. Oh, and by the way, he made some enemies in prison, so there are a raft of characters tha
...more
Tal
Jan 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i didn't know what to think about this book before i got it or even when i was first reading it. if they language was taken out, i would have loved the book. well, maybe i still would have given it 4 stars, i'm not sure. anyways, the twists and turns caught me off guard and so that was awesome. someone killing someone, but was supposed to be killing someone before killing someone, but then killed someone else. yes, it had a lot of twists and turns. i enjoyed it though and will definitely finish ...more
Jakub Rabyniuk
Jul 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tohle jsem si užil.
Funguje to spíš jako drsný akční thriller než detektivka. Jde vidět, že autor má fetiš na auta a zbraně, ale naštěstí žiju v době, kdy je internet v mobilu a můžu si i třeba při četbě ve vlaku zjistit, čím tam po sobě střílí a v čem tam jezdí.:)
Hlavní hrdina mi chvílemi přišel přehnaný, ve smyslu co všechno umí a tak, ale nebylo to úplně na škodu a asi to k tomuhle žánru trochu patří.
Ale celkově to je intenzivní a zábavné. Jdu na další díl.
P.S.: Napadlo mě, že by podle toho
...more
Jan
Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Od Simmonse jsem kdysi četl nějaké sci-fi povídky, Hyperion mám od té doby na pubertálním wishlistu, když jsem však zjistil, že mimojiné skládá hold klasikům hard-boiled school, musel jsem se podívat do Kurtzovy kanceláře v zadním traktu sex-shopu, k Niagarským vodopádům a na úpadek degenerované mafie. Co bych chodil dlouho kolem horké buffalské kaše, jeho detektivka má styl, přesně jaký má mít. A to je všechno co drsná detektivka musí mít.
Ramon Yáñez lópez
A una semana de haberla le��do, aun me queda el buen sabor de boca(a sangre) de este peculiar libro.

Simmons es capaz de escribir de todo, SF, Terror, novela pseudohist��rica, etc... Este libro empieza con una venganza en el primer capitulo y acaba como el Rosario de la Aurora. Corto, con un lenguaje conciso, correctamente traducido, se lee de un tir��n. No es la novela maestra de los thrillers pero no se puede pedir mas. Ya he comprado la segunda de la serie y hay tres de momento...
Ed
Feb 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ex-con Joe Kurtz works for the elderly Don of a fading Buffalo based mafia family and is aggressively hunted by a homicidal dwarf, drug dealing gangsters, crooked cops and an international hit man known as "the Dane". Politically incorrect and big fun to read. I've already started the sequel" Hard Freeze".
Johnny
Feb 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pitch perfect homage to Stark's (Westlake's) Parker novels. Maintains its own voice while embracing the violent, hard romps of its inspiration.

It really feels like Simmons read all the Parker novels, then decided that there needed to be another one, so he wrote it.

Great, quick read. Great momentum, plenty of violence, and some nice twists.
Savin Stefanov
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Тотална книга в жанра, предполагам. Просто удоволствие от екшъна и няколко поръсвания интелект. Уважавам автори, които могат да създават герои и да движат действието напоително само чрез пряка реч. С една дума - за всеки, който не му се мисли, но и за всеки който иска де се учи да пише диалог. За мен - огромно удоволствие.
Tamahome
Page 109: Apparently a salute to the Richard Stark (Donald Westlake) noir books. Pretty violent. Moves along quickly for a Dan Simmons book. Reminds me of Frank Miller's Sin City.

All done. It would probably be a 5 hour audiobook.
Matthew
Dan Simmons dumbs it down! Way down! Who cares? Not me! Kikk assss!
Metodi Markov
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crimy, usa
Много добра кримка, издържана в стила на старите майстори в занаята.

Другите две от серията за Курц естествено не са преведени на български. Ще ги погледна на английски със сигурност.
Jannelies
Snel, alles is snel in dit verhaal,Eigenlijk zit ik verschrikkelijk in mijn maag met dit boek. Ik kan een rechttoe-rechtaan bespreking op papier zetten, maar dan zou ik geen recht doen aan de auteur. Is Lood dan zo slecht? Nee, voor mensen die houden van dit soort recht-voor-zn-raap verhalen is het heel genietbaar. Een uitgerangeerde privé-detective met een lange gevangenisstraf achter de rug, een eveneens uitgerangeerde don, de beeldschone dochter van de don, de verdorven advocaat en een handje ...more
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Dan Simmons grew up in various cities and small towns in the Midwest, including Brimfield, Illinois, which was the source of his fictional "Elm Haven" in 1991's SUMMER OF NIGHT and 2002's A WINTER HAUNTING. Dan received a B.A. in English from Wabash College in 1970, winning a national Phi Beta Kappa Award during his senior year for excellence in fiction, journalism and art.

Dan received his Master
...more

Other books in the series

Joe Kurtz (3 books)
  • Hard Freeze
  • Hard as Nails