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Jim Hardman Books In Order

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Publication Order of Jim Hardman Books

Atlanta Deathwatch (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Charleston Knife's Back in Town (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Golden Girl and All (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pimp for the Dead (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Down Among the Jocks (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder Is Not an Odd Job (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Working for the Man (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Deadly Cotton Heart (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
The One Dollar Rip-Off (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Last of the Armageddon Wars (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Buy Back Blues (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hump's First Case (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
All Kinds of Ugly (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Jim Hardman is the main character in a series of novels written by Ralph Dennis. The series publication began in 1974 when the first book in the series Atlanta Deathwatch was published. The second book The Charleston Knife Back in Town was released in 1982. The series consist of 12 books with The Buy Back Blues marking the last book in the series. In the series, Jim Hardman is depicted as an ex-police man kicked out off the force being in a relationship which was later revealed to have involvement in money laundering scheme. He was a clean cop, but the moment that he was sacked, he turned to any job as long as it could cater for his bills.

Atlanta Deathwatch

Jim Hardman series debut novel opens up as Hardman is tailing a co-ed by the name Emily Campbell. Her father is a politician concerned that she could be getting mixed up in a crowd of bad guys. So Hardman follows her to a black-only bar. Unfortunately, he winds up getting beaten by some black guys who show up in a car after being eyeballed by one of the blacks in the bar. He vows to drop the job and decides to look for another employer. He starts a journey to New York City where he picks up a case full of heroine.

Apparently, it appears that Hardman will do anything for the love of money and his partner, Hump Evans; a tall black former footballer feels the same way. The duo has been making New York drug often run along with their “problem-solving gigs.” When Evans and Hardman return to Atlanta, they are shocked to find out that Emily Campbell has been killed and all the signs and clues available all point to her ex-boyfriend, Eddie Spence. He apparently is a troublemaker with a clear history of bad behavior and violence. Soon Jim Hardman finds himself working for a Black Mafia leader by the name “The Man” as mystery figure who has been involved with Emily so sometime now. Further, the plot gets more interesting, and more and more events happen that will keep you hooked to the end.

The two characters, Hardman and Hump, are two fascinating. You will always find them drinking, everything from wine to beer to cognac to Scotch. Practically, each time they return to Humps’ apartment, they break out a few beers or a bottle of J&B scotch. You will love the way the entire narrative handles weapons. The guns are described in a simple manner, but the two got a primary functional gun tucked away somewhere. Hump carries a 38 Hardman while Hardman carries around an old Colt 38 Police Positive. Additionally, Hump fancies double-barreled shotgun that was given to him as a present during his football days.

Eddie Spence possesses a 45 automatic possibly from the Navy while the random hood have 32 calibers, referred to as Saturday Night Specials. There is also a few shotguns here and there, plus a machine pistol commonly referred as the WW2-era German, and an MP-40.

Apart from the weapons, there also a lot of racial tensions featured in the story. You will notice that in more than one occasion that the partnership question with most folks thinking that Hump works for Jim Hardman rather than working with him, however, Hardman always assures that they are partners and on equal footing. Hump is also illustrated to be Hardman’s equal regarding his abilities to come up with to come up with ideas and insights to the investigation- he is smart too.

However, things get complicated; Hardman and Hump have to deal with The Man, especially, regarding The Man’s status with his people and how they view his deals with this white man and his black partner. There is also another level of tension, especially when The Man falls in love with a white woman and it is clear that no all of his juniors liked his relationship with the woman at all.

Overall, the first novel is an entertaining read, fast paced featuring lots of violence, sex, drugs, and bad behaviors and many other things that guys love. It is a great beach read and a great novel to get you started.

Murder Not an Odd Job

Once again, in the sixth book of the twelve installment Jim Hardman series by Ralph Dennis, we again meet the unlicensed Atlanta private investigator Jim investigating why an heir to a fortune has chosen to reside on Atlanta’s skid row. The journey is fun, and the novel features a strong prose as long as your expectations are realistic.

In Murder’s Not an Odd Job, Jim Hardman and Hump are searching Atlanta’s skid row on a night on the town. They two are caught up in a bar fight that lands them in the case of a missing heir of one of Atlanta’s loyal families.

The novel is very readable, and definitely will be one of your favorite books after reading it. Additionally, it features various intense action filled scenes which connect to each other in such a way that you will not notice while reading each of the scenes. The author also tosses the readers several red herrings. For instance, the novel takes the readers through different settings, and the first hundred pages contain passages that advance the plot to the next step. Overall, the spices up the narrative by adding a dramatic shootout that makes use of both the setting and the characters as well.

The One-Dollar Ripoff

In this ninth installment of Jim Hardman series, Hump is cheated when he wins a bet. The scam leads both Hump and Hardman into something much bigger and more sinister. The story begins in what appears to be just a pure scam after Hump wins a bet on Monday Night Football match but cannot collect it. His friend, Hardman agrees to assist him in tracking down the person responsible, but they soon find out that the man is involved with more evil people. Like all other books in the series, The One-Dollar Ripoff will take you into a broken world where the ex-cop and his friend Hump often explore.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Jim Hardman

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