Hard as Nails

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Somewhere in western New York there's a remote mountaintop in the moonlight, its dark forests and moon-dappled meadows populated only by corpses, and if ex-PI Joe Kurtz doesn't unravel the secret of that place in five days, he'll be one of them.

Everyone seems to want a piece of Kurtz and most succeed in getting one. Unknown assailants gun down Kurtz and his female parole officer, giving Kurtz the headache of a lifetime but putting pretty Peg O'Toole on life support. While working his own case through a haze of concussion migraine, Kurtz has to deal with Toma Gonzaga, the gay don who owes Kurtz a blood debt, and Angelina Farino Ferrara, the female don who is after Kurtz's body — or maybe just his head.

And while someone is murdering all the heroin addicts in Buffalo and hauling away the bodies, a serial killer called the Artful Dodger hatches his twisted plan.

In Kurtz's corner is police detective Rigby King, a beautiful woman who was his lover when they were both rebellious teenagers in Father Baker's Orphanage. Rigby also has designs on Joe Kurtz, but whether they're aimed at bedding or abetting him, helping him stay alive, or simply putting him away for life, Kurtz will have to discover the hard way.