by Steven Barnes, Tananarive Due, and Blair Underwood
started 9/17 finished 9/24
This is the second in the Tennyson Hardwick series. Hardwick is a former gigolo, current actor who solves crimes. He doesn’t go out and look for detective work, they just seem to happen around him, Murder She Wrote style. I read Casanegra last year and was very pleased with it. The collaboration between these three writers works well.
In this installment, Hardwick is on the verge of losing his acting career and maybe his girlfriend because of his past. He is asked to be a bodyguard for his former college classmate, T.D. Jackson, who was recently acquitted of murdering his ex-wife and her fiance (sound familiar?). Because of scheduling concerns, Hardwick must turn him down. When Jackson himself turns up dead, Hardwick is asked to investigate at the request of the family. As it turns out, he may also discover if Jackson really killed his wife or not.
Even though these books are obviously written with the end goal of being on the big screen, the authors don’t ignore the nuances of creating well-rounded characters. Yes, Hardwick is impossibly attractive, smart, an expert at martial arts, and well-endowed – but he is also flawed and pulled in several directions at the same time. Chasing a murderer across the country while planning the prom for the teenage ex-prostitute you’re raising is not easy!
If you haven’t read Casanegra yet, go get it. You should read it before you pick this one up as several story lines continue. Fortunately, readers are responding well to this series, so the authors will write more. I can’t wait for the next one.