Hardcase – Dan Simmons

There are three novels in this series of ultra-hardboiled thriller? detective? tough guy? (the genre is in flux, and at present there isn’t really a term for it that I like) novels. The hero is Joe Kurtz, and he’s is the hardest fictional case I’ve run into who still comes across as three dimensional and interesting in a variety of ways. In hardboiled fiction, the main character(s), no matter how tough, have to have limits to what they will do. Often they have partners who are happy being larcenous. Patrick and Angie in Dennis Lehane’s series have Bubba Rugowski.

Joe Kurtz is Bubba and Patrick rolled into one, and Bubba has got the upper hand.