Hard Case begins in a back alley warehouse in East Oakland, CA, where Harding fights for money, and to keep his skills honed, coupled with the fact he likes it. Harding does odd jobs with the only guy he trusts implicitly, his handler and manager, Tommy Sands. They bodyguard, escort tourists around the Bay Area, and do bail bond, skip trace work for a lawyer named Tess Connagher.
Two events throw Harding's seamy life in the shadows out into the light. Strobert is ordered to enlist Tess Connagher's law firm to act as an intermediary with Harding in order to protect an outspoken Afghani woman whose family Harding protected long ago. The woman's father requested him, and the state department realizes they'll be off the hook if anything happens to Samira Karim while under Harding's care. Secondly, Harding fights a particularly brutal fight with a Russian mob backed fighter named Van Rankin who hates Harding. They'd had words.
The YouTube video of Harding's subsequent beat-down of Rankin goes viral along with many of his prior fights. When Rankin's Russian mobster backer, Alexi Fiialkov pushes for a rematch on the UFC circuit, CIA Agent Strobert sees infinite possibilities since the United Arab Emirates has part ownership in the UFC. Some matches would be taking place in Dubai, where the CIA knows targets of opportunity show up from time to time.
©2014 Bernard DeLeo and RJ Parker Publishing (P)2014 Bernard DeLeo and RJ Parker Publishing
John Harding was fun - a hard guy, but not as morose a Reacher. He has friends and a team too. Like the Detachment with John Raine. Some of the episodes needed to be tied in better. But it was a great listen.
Barry Eisler's John Raine is similar, but Eisler has had more time to develop as a writer. On the other hand, Harding has more fight scenes.
Kipp Poe Speicher
A great start to the series and yes i would return to listening to again. Can't wait to read more from the series.
Hard Case is a thrill ride and no exceptions to being nice and sugar coated if I had to compare it Lee Child comes to mind
Kevin pulled off each of the character very well and gives a great voice to John Harding
I didn't want to pause the story and when I would have to a was anxious to return to listening.
I recently purchased a big name authors James Patterson new book and was a bit board by the predictable characters and pace and stopped listening to jump into this book and glad that I did.
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