Vince Gorman is a ruthless lawyer with flexible morality who makes problems go away for David Wardlaw, an Atlanta real estate developer and the owner of the city's pro basketball team. Wardlaw doesn't care how Vince fixes things...as long as it gets done. But now Vince is in over his head... covering up a possibly fatal hit-and-run by the team's hard-partying star shooter... and competing with Wardlaw's rivals to bribe, blackmail and intimidate the corrupt politicians who award the city's rich construction contracts...all while desperately scrambling to keep his own life of dark secrets, relentless womanizing, and soul-rotting compromises from crashing down around him.
Ralph Dennis isn’t a household name… but he should be. He is widely considered among crime writers as a master of the genre, denied the recognition he deserved because his twelve Hardman books, which are beloved and highly sought-after collectables now, were poorly packaged in the 1970s by Popular Library as a cheap men’s action-adventure paperbacks with numbered titles.
Even so, some top critics saw past the cheesy covers and noticed that he was producing work as good as John D. MacDonald, Raymond Chandler, Chester Himes, Dashiell Hammett, and Ross MacDonald.
The New York Times praised the Hardman novels for “expert writing, plotting, and an unusual degree of sensitivity. Dennis has mastered the genre and supplied top entertainment.” The Philadelphia Daily News proclaimed Hardman“the best series around, but they’ve got such terrible covers…”
Unfortunately, Popular Library didn’t take the hint and continued to present the series like hack work, dooming the novels to a short shelf-life and obscurity…except among generations of crime writers, like novelist Joe R. Lansdale (the Hap & Leonard series) and screenwriter Shane Black (the Lethal Weapon movies), who’ve kept Dennis’ legacy alive through word-of-mouth and by acknowledging his influence on their stellar work.
Ralph Dennis wrote three other novels that were published outside of the Hardman series but he wasn’t able to reach the wide audience, or gain the critical acclaim, that he deserved during his lifetime.
He was born in 1931 in Sumter, South Carolina, and received a masters degree from University of North Carolina, where he later taught film and television writing after serving a stint in the Navy. At the time of his death in 1988, he was working at a bookstore in Atlanta and had a file cabinet full of unpublished novels.
If Mike Lyman needed something to add adventure to his life after a period of stale and humdrum, he found it in Mosquito Lagoon. The remote waterway with its many islands is thirty miles from his home, but it becomes the place where all his new questions can be answered. In his regular life, he has to fight each day for the motivation he needs just to go on and craves anything that will break up the grind. In a very short time, it becomes a big dose of “Be careful what you wish for.” A case of rabies in an orthopedic rehab is shocking to Mike, but when a beautiful lady detective begins to investigate the patient’s sudden death, the adventure is on. This is clearly new territory for a nurse, despite the fact that nurses investigate health questions every day to present to doctors. The authorities seem to get nowhere without his help, and his only ally, the lady detective, takes the blame for many of his unwanted incursions. He foils murder and kidnap attempts against him along the way and saves other lives in the process. Even though he often wishes it was over, the events on Mosquito Lagoon provide more excitement than he has ever had, and he can’t seem to let go. That gorgeous cop doesn’t make it any easier to return to a nurse job either. He can barely stay ahead of the whirlwind he has created, and as the elements increase in danger, he can only rely on his strength of character and a secret weapon to carry him through. If you have a man’s job to do, and you live near Mosquito Lagoon in Florida, you may want to send a nurse to do it.
It’s June 1940. War is raging in Europe. France is about to collapse to the Nazis. England is bracing for a devastating German invasion…and the fall of the British empire. In desperation, Winston Churchill sends the kingdom’s wealth in gold bullion and securities to Canada for safekeeping. The first of these top secret shipments, traveling by sea to North America and then by train to Montreal, is worth over $500 million. A group of American soldiers are plotting to steal it… and only one man, a lowly agent for the Bank of England, stands in their way.
“A sweeping adventure spectacle.” Kirkus Reviews
“The action highballs along.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“A first-rate novel of suspense.” Edward L. Beach, author of Run Silent, Run Deep
A substantially different version of this book was previously published under the title "MacTaggart's War."
New York Times bestselling author Karin Slaughter brings back Will Trent and Sara Linton in this superb and timely thriller full of devious twists, disturbing secrets, and shocking surprises you won’t see coming
A mysterious kidnapping
On a hot summer night, a scientist from the Centers for Disease Control is grabbed by unknown assailants in a shopping center parking lot. The authorities are desperate to save the doctor who’s been vanished into thin air.
A devastating explosion
One month later, the serenity of a sunny Sunday afternoon is shattered by the boom of a ground-shaking blast—followed by another seconds later. One of Atlanta’s busiest and most important neighborhoods has been bombed—the location of Emory University, two major hospitals, the FBI headquarters, and the CDC.
A diabolical enemy
Medical examiner Sara Linton and her partner Will Trent, an investigator with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, rush to the scene—and into the heart of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to destroy thousands of innocent lives. When the assailants abduct Sara, Will goes undercover to save her and prevent a massacre—putting his own life on the line for the woman and the country he loves.
Kane was a top CIA assassin until he suffered traumatic physical and psychological injuries in a mission that went horribly wrong. The Agency wiped his memory, gave him a new identity, and retired him to a life of mundane, anonymous domesticity. But his training, and his talent for killing, came back with a vengeance. He created a new life for himself as a killer-for-hire, righting wrongs for people who can’t find peace or justice any other way. He doesn’t know that his memories are fiction, or that he is always being watched, or that he’s been targeted for death by a rogue faction within the Agency.
In this brutal, fast-moving thriller from Ralph Dennis, the author of the legendary Hardman series of crime novels, Kane finds himself caught between the mob, Cuban revolutionaries, and his own government as he seeks retribution for a man murdered for uncovering small-town corruption…and justice for another man on death row, falsely convicted of raping and murdering a child.
Will Hall is a CIA agent in a South American country on the brink of Civil War. But when the moderate, rebel leader that Hall covertly supported is assassinated, the spy resigns and retreats to a cabin in the North Carolina woods. His quiet, civilian life is shattered when an unknown adversary frames him for revealing Agency secrets, putting a kill-on-sight target on his back. Hall runs in a global chase to evade death, clear his name, and free himself from the flawless "box job" that could become his coffin.
Praise for Ralph Dennis:
"A breathless, lean noir thriller. Every line is razor sharp. Jason Bourne fans will find a lot to like." Publishers Weekly
"Ralph Dennis has mastered the genre and supplied top entertainment." New York Times
"Believable and constantly thrilling." The Spy Guys & Gals Site
"His prose is muscular, swift and highly readable. " Joe R. Lansdale, New York Times bestselling author
"Exceptional characterization, strong and vigorous prose." Mystery Scene Magazine
"Straight-up, hardboiled crime fiction, written in a tight, evocative voice with a wicked, dark sense of humor." Lee Goldberg, New York Times bestselling author