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The Charleston Knife Is Back in Town

Hardman, Book 2
Narrated by: Shawn Compton
Length: 5 hrs and 33 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)
Regular price: $19.95
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Publisher's Summary

The second novel in the unforgettable, long-lost series by Ralph Dennis is finally back in print...after being coveted for years by collectors of the very best in hardboiled fiction. 

Jim Hardman was a mediocre Atlanta cop until he was wrongly accused of corruption and thrown off the force. Now he works as an unlicensed PI, troubleshooter, and bodyguard...often partnered with his drinking buddy Hump Evans, a black, ex-NFL player who supports his playboy lifestyle by working as hired muscle. 

Five kids rip off a gambling party attended by Hump Evans and some of Atlanta’s criminal and political elite. Hardman is hired to recover the loot and find the kids before they are caught and butchered by a hitman from Charleston with a very sharp knife. 

This new edition includes an introduction by Joe R. Lansdale, the New York Times best-selling author of the Hap & Leonard crime novels.

©2018 Adventures in Television, Inc. (P)2019 Adventures in Television, Inc.

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Outstanding Atlanta Noir





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8 minutes ago



The Charleston Knife is Back in Town (Hardman Book 2)

by Ralph Dennis

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Read in February 2019

I received this from AudioBookBoom and the publisher, Brash Books, in exchange for an honest review.

This really is an outstanding series, and is so much more than the "Men's Action Adventure" that is was marketed as back when it was first published in the mid-70s. So glad that Brash Books is rereleasing these long-lost books!

Just like the first one, Jim Hardman and Hump Evans get wrapped up in some violent shenanigans, this time involving a group of kids who set up a robbery of some high-rolling gamblers; of course, it goes wrong, and they are hunted by the Atlanta gang bosses, along with a hired assassin. Hardman and Hump are hired by the grandmother of one of the boys, and immediately run afowl of the assassin and an Italian mafioso.

As expected, Shawn Compton does an outstanding job narrating, and I can't wait to listen to the next one!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dee
  • LA
  • 02-22-19

I. Love. This. Series.

This is only the second book in the series but I am professing my undying love nonetheless. This series rocks!!!!

The two main characters, one Black and one White, are a messed up version of a dynamic duo but they work. Set in the backdrop of the still very racist America of the 70's, Hump and Jim go about righting the wrongs (sorta.)

The narrator has this flow and way of being that just helps you settle comfortably into the story. This book was easily a 10 out of 10!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A 5* read/listen.

The Charleston Knife Is Back in Town: Hardman, Book 2. I read these books many many years ago, now listening to them is a real pleasure. A simpler style of writing then than now, the violence language & sex is less graphic - definitely NOT politically correct by today's standards.
It is a great read/listen, sometimes similar to "Shaft" in it's style.
I highly recommends this step back in time for anyone who remembers this series. Also for anyone who wants a taaste of the crime genre of that era.
I was given a free copy of this audiobook at my own request, and voluntarily leave this review.

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Great Entry In A Series that has returned.

Ralph Dennis wrote a number of "Hardman" books back in the day and they are back! Having never read them, I am excited to be finally doing so. I liked the first one, but his second surpasses that entry by far. Hardman and his sidekick, Hump (a former football player) attend a boxing match. Following that Hump is invited to a party which he attends only to discover that it was a set up.

When the mother of one of the robbers comes to Hardman to get her son out of the gang and to safety, he and Hump take the case. What begins as a by the numbers adventure mystery soon becomes complicated when an assassin for hire - The Charleson Knive - is hired to kill the gang members. This begins a race between the two elements to locate the gang first.

What a well plotted story. The author does not waste words, and yet conveys the location, characters so well that the plot absolutely moves swifter than a hot knife through melted butter. Narrator Shawn Compton, not a "showy" narrator, still conveys individual voices for the characters and guides the reader through this taught tale.

Hopefully each book in the series is better than the previous. In short time I will be reading and listening to the 3rd in the series. Note: you do not have to read the first entry to enjoy this one. Though there is some linking of characters, the plot of the previous one is referred to so a reader who begins with this will not be lost. Grab these books and listen/read as soon as you can. You will not be sorry!

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Series Keeps Getting More Enjoyable

I received this book for free. I am voluntarily leaving this review and all opinions expressed herein are my own.

This book was originally published in the 1970's and has the vernacular of that era. This is the second book in the Hardman series. It is a standalone story with no cliffhanger ending. However, this series is great [and thanks to Brasch Books is being re-released, hopefully to the larger audience it deserves], so I highly recommend that you start with the first book. You also gain some additional insight into the MCs - their relationship and background by starting with the first book.

Here, Hump attends a party of high rollers where all of the partygoers are robbed. Hardman is hired by the grandmother of one of the robbers to find him before he is killed by a hitman seeking some retribution. Hardman and Hump, loosely working with the Detective, work to right some wrongs in their own way.

This is so well written - the investigation has some great twists and turns but the relationship between Hump and Hardman is absolutely worth the price of admission. I really enjoy the humor - both situational and in their conversations.

The narrator, Shawn Compton, does a great job. His tone and pace completely compliment this series.