Book Review: Hard-boiled by Doug Ross

Hard-boiled is a thriller/mystery with a great deal of pith and humor, much of it the deprecating kind. Ted Huston is a former Marine, a former cop, and he’s never fired a round. Currently a down-on-his-luck PI with a serious gambling problem, he collects dangerous slimeballs along the way, not because they’re his type, but because he owes their bosses big. There’s a beautiful woman (divorced) with reason to worry about her young son’s father. On one of Ted’s worst days –– the kind of day registering high among anyone’s worst days –– his mangled body should be –– um, well, I won’t give it away. The best is the dialogue. What Ross has done is not easy. Nearly, if not every, page offers a grin, even when circumstances are grim –– and there’s a clever spin at the end.


Ted’s ace in the hole is still having a friend on the force. Detective Danny Sanchez’ retorts are as clever as Ted’s. Ted calls Danny “Nancy-boy. “Danny calls Ted “Fredo.”

I looked at the big guy. “Why are you hanging around with Freddie Mercury here?”  . . .

The heavenly smell of doughnuts and chocolate chip cookies washed over like the siren song of cholesterol. . . .

A bizarre stew of restaurants, nudie bars, art houses, and coffee shops were scattered haphazardly; imagine Salvador Dali as a city planner. . . .

…a sergeant had actually died, mid-taco, at Tito’s counter. The autopsy showed his arteries were completely blocked, but it also pointed out that he had a huge smile on his face.

Some Interesting info on installing an mobile app to trace phone calls and location. Wonder if it’s true.

The plot is tightly focused. The whole of this novella is fun –– and interesting, with vivid characters from start to finish. Again, there’s a twist that will surprise you.

Hard-boiled by Doug Ross is available at Amazon, Kindle edition only, and for only $0.99 you can get acquainted with Ted Huston. Hard-boiled is his first and only book (I think). I hope there’s more to come.

Many of you already know Doug’s writing. He’s a conservative political blogger. Read his commentary at Doug Ross @ Journal and his aggregated news site, BadBlue, where the news is “uncensored 24/7.

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