cover image All Kinds of Ugly

All Kinds of Ugly

Ralph Dennis. Brash, $16.99 trade paper (196p) ISBN 978-1-941298-20-6

Fans of Dennis (1931–1988) will welcome the author’s previously unpublished, hard-hitting 13th and final book featuring unlicensed Atlanta PI Jim Hardman. Hardman, recently dumped by his longtime girlfriend, accepts a case that takes him to London in search of Harrison Gault III, the grown grandson and heir of rich and powerful industrialist Harrison Gault. He returns without the younger Harrison, but with the grandson’s secret wife, Anna Piroski, who’s pregnant with the old man’s great-grandson. Wanting nothing more to do with the Gaults, Hardman tries to distance himself from the old moneyed family only to be dragged back into their fold in a cycle of troubles involving gangsters, drugs, and murder, with Anna at the heart of it all. Dennis wrote, in the best sense, old-school hardboiled crime fiction. His strong prose and well-paced storytelling place him alongside the likes of George V. Higgins and Ross MacDonald. (Feb.)