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Buy for $28.50
If you're going to shoot Joe Kurtz, you'd better shoot to kill.
Ex-PI Joe Kurtz's survival is on the line when an ambush leaves him badly wounded and his parole officer, Peg O'Toole, clinging to life. Their respective professions have ensured that neither suffers from a shortage of enemies, so narrowing down the suspects isn't easy. But Kurtz knows who's at the head of his list: Angelina Farino Ferrara, the lethal beauty who leads the Farino crime family, and her mob rival, Toma Gonzaga.
The odd thing is each would rather hire Joe Kurtz than fire at him. Someone's causing trouble beneath the gray skies of Western New York, and it's drawn the notice of the mobs and the cops. Kurtz is caught in the middle along with the rest of them, and no one knows who's tightening the vise.
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"It didn’t take reading Marcus Aurelius to know that everything you did made everything different, and if you dwelt on it, you’d go nuts."
- Dan Simmons, Hard as Nails
The last of Dan Simmons' Joe Kurtz novels. At least this is the last for now. Again, it is solid for what it is, but I'm still a bit conflicted about the trope of the brutalized hero, near death, unfed, with little sleep, fighting again and again and again. The action also gets so compressed (not quite into a unity of time) almost into a hard-to-believe compression. Again, I enjoyed it, but I'm not sure it adds enough to hard-boiled fiction for me to read more than three. Similar in quality to Ellroy's Lloyd Hopkins trilogy (Blood on the Moon, Because the Night, Suicide Hill).
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