Hard, Hard City Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Hard, Hard City

Putnam, Oct 2004, 24.95, 288 pp.
ISBN: 0399152172

After years of mourning for his wife and their son who died in a train accident, private detective Terry Orr still struggles with the fact that his spouse was locked in a passionate embrace with another man while her son was on the rail tracks. She died trying to save their child's life. Terry cares for Julie, but is unable to tell or show her how much he needs her. His daughter Bella looks after him because she understands his pain and he will do anything for her.
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Bella asks her father to find Allie Powell, who has been missing for several days. Terry visits John McPorter, who shows the sleuth his open safe in which $471 and some envelopes were stolen leaving behind much more valuable items. Next Terry sees Allie's father Powell who believes the detective has the stolen items; his goons rough up Terry. He returns to John's house to find the man impaled on a fence and not long afterward the man's son is dead in a shoddy apartment building. Terry concludes that Powell seeks incriminating documents that John has and if he can prove this perhaps Allie can come out of hiding.

Jim Fusilli provides a story about the meanness of city streets. The protagonist prefers being shot at or beaten up as less painful than his thoughts and enables him to escape from his growing unwanted feelings for Julie.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Hard, Hard City

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 50%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Crime plotlets:    -   white collar fraud or theft General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes Who's the criminal enemy here?    -   finding a known killer If story PRIMARILY about main chr. being hunted...    -   hunted by killer/stalker

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   private investigator Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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