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Hard Case I (John Harding Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
John Harding wears many hats. He's a MMA cage fighter, an assassin, a bodyguard, a skip tracer, and a Marine, among others. In this first book, he participates in many varied adventures. He has a large, competent supporting cast.
John didn't steal my heart the way Nick McCarthy did, I suspect because of the violence of the fights. I deducted my usual one star for the many errors, mostly punctuation but several others such as "isle" for "aisle."
I intend to give the second book a shot to see if I want to continue this series
Apart from the action, this book raises several important questions. If you want to make a new life for yourself, can you escape the past? Can we construct our identity without roots and their history? Whatever the case, 'Hard Case' is a book which should not be missed. It is realistic, shocking and humorous at the same time
If your into NCIS, Bourne with a 007 element this is for you.
This book does have some typos and grammatical errors but that never distracted me if that would annoy you at least you have a heads up. I'm happy to recommend to all as I loved this book and could not put it down. Can't wait to see if there is another would be fantastic as a film.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Jack Reacher is a wimp. Gabrielle Allon is a sissy. John Harding is a Monster! lol.
I am pretty critical in my reviews and don't give out 5 stars lightly. This one is a home run.
If you see the problems the US is facing, I mean...the real problems, not the problems the media wants you to focus on. The problems you and I know are out there but the media, for the most part, downplays or ignores. You are going to love this.
Not only are the problems correctly identified, but they are dealt with. The way they should be dealt with. Quickly and violently. There is no waiting around for political considerations or consensus. Identify the problem, then go take care of it...right away. Within hours even. FInd out from the bad guys what else they are doing and go take care of that too...right away. How it should be done when American lives are at stake.
How it's not being done now.
There is violence and torture in this book. A lot of it. Be forewarned. It's done to the people wanting to hurt and kill your family. I had no problem with it. At all.
And it's a great, fun book to boot...torture and all :) Harding not only works to help the country...he's a Cage Fighter in his spare time. How cool is that? Yeah, it sounds like something that could be way over-the-top and a bit ridiculous. But, it really does work. I was just as interested in his fights... as his saving the world stuff. Both aspects really did blend together well and even complimented each other.
Now, there is a couple of aspects that could be annoying if you let it be. Like the dialogue sounding all the same from all the supporting characters. Even to the point they all repeat the same catch phrases and wordings. This includes Mr. DeLeo's other books. Different characters in different situations...but, it could be the same person in all of them. Still, I like all the main and supporting characters and since I loved the book(s) so much, I was willing to overlook things that might bother others. Your mileage may vary.
So, if you want to see how we should REALLY be handling issues like Terrorism, gangs, Political corruption, etc...and have an awesome time doing it…you are going to love this. It's not only relevant...but, a blast to read. Tons of action and humor.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story and see that the author has additional books published with other John Harding missions. I'll be sure to look into them. Highly recommended and hard to put down. Great job, Mr. DeLeo!
John Podlaski, author
Cherries - A Vietnam War Novel
and When Can I Stop Running?
Say what? Leavittsburg is a very small community of a couple of thousand residents along the Mahoning River in Trumbull County not many miles from my home - and it's so small that it's unlikely anyone would mention it in a book unless he or she were familiar with it. So I did a little sleuthing of my own; I didn't unearth much except that the author at one time attended the now-closed Western Reserve High School in nearby Warren, Ohio, and thus Leavittsburg would have been almost in his back yard. But that was enough for me to say what the heck? It was less than a buck, and I was intrigued.
And now that I've finished it, I'm hooked.
Harding, it seems, ran away from his Leavittsburg home and an extremely abusive father at age 14; with a little age adjustment, he got into military service, where he performed spectacularly and learned several languages. Subsequently, he's recruited by a CIA agent to take on special projects that must remain under the government radar - most of which involve utilizing his special skills and killing bad guys. To supplement that income and satisfy his need for violence, he earns money as an extreme cage fighter and takes on odd jobs doing bodyguard and skip trace work for his manager.
Along the way, Harding manages to knock the stuffing out of an extreme fighter backed by the Russian mob, thus putting himself in their crosshairs. At the same time, he's recruited to protect a young Afghani woman he knew as a child when he was doing military service there - now grown, she's come to America to speak out against the atrocities happening back at home. Helping Harding with the latter task is lawyer and love interest Tess Connagher (it's her law firm that was directed to hire Harding to protect the Afghani woman).
Since there are two more books in the series that I know of - Hard Case - The Lure of Hell and Hard Case - Voyage of the Damned - it's clear from the beginning of this one that Harding will survive. And given his background and occupation, it's also clear there'll be no shortage of knock-down, drag-out fights in this book. In fact, those events are pretty much ongoing - moving from action in the field to action in a cage. People get killed right and left (but, as Harding points out, he doesn't kill people who don't deserve it). There's a little romance, a little humor here and there, and the result is that it's really a good book that held my attention all the way to the end. I will caution, though, that it you don't like reading about blood and guts, this probably isn't your style. As for me, bring on the next one!
John Harding is a 6'5" tall. He's one big guy. A guy with loads of know how.
He was a Spec Ops Force Recon Marine, He does work for the CIA and he's a Mixed Martial Arts cage fighter.
Harding had one bad childhood. He ended up in the Marines. A good move for him. He has a penchant for languages and is hell on wheels when it comes to survival and taking out the bad guys.
After he got out of the Marines he got into the MMA in a big way.
During his first fight a slow ref caused the death of his opponent. Because of that most of his fights are impromtu, pick up fights. He makes money.
His agent is Tommy Sands. He's a good agent and friend.
Harding beats a guy in a MMA bout. A guy he wasn't supposed to beat. This gets the Russian Mafia involved. They had backed this guy big time. Lost loads of money. The Mafia leader wants a rematch. He's a guy Harding can do business with. A guy who turns out to be a pretty good friend.
Of course the monster has to recover first. It will be a while before another fight..
Tess Connagher is another sometime employer for Harding. She works for a law firm and uses John to go after bail jumpers.
Tess also has the hots for Harding. A fact Harding is willing to go along with. That is until Tess uses her closeness with John to set him up for a meeting with Dennis Strobert. Harding and Strobert do Govt business together occasionally. The fact that Tess is involved in this meeting is something Harding is not happy about.
Good thing. Tess is too pissy for my money. Don't like her at all. Glad she's gone in Book 1. Good Gawd what an idiot she is.
This meeting with Strobert lands Harding in a bodyguard assignment. The assignment involves a young lady he last saw when she was eleven years old. She has since grown into a beautiful, passionate young lady. She's passionate about Democracy for her homeland. Afghanistan and rights for women in the Muslim world.
This turns into one great story full of action, old friends, new friends, a traitor and John Harding in the middle of it all.
One good read and well worth those five stars.
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