Art Hardin is a middle-aged guy with a wife, three sons, a dog, and a black Olds sedan---and he'd be happy to earn his living chasing fraudulent insurance claims and snapping pictures of cheating spouses. That was his plan, anyway, when he'd retired from his position as a counterintelligence officer for the Defense Intelligence Service branch of the government. Unfortunately, high-priced attorney Martin Van Pelham has other plans for the battle weary PI. Van Pelham's niece Karen (who he raised as his daughter) has gotten herself into some deep trouble, and Hardin's job is to make sure she stays alive to answer for it. The first problem he encounters is Karen's reluctance to cooperate with this plan, preferring instead to attack him with a camping hatchet. The next problem is a crooked drunk and abusive police officer named Randy Talon, who happens to be Karen's husband. Even with the help of Wendy, his bounty hunter wife, and Ron Craig, friend and ex-CIA agent, the case is already threatening to become dangerously hard to handle. This remarkably well-crafted story has the trademark qualities of superior detective mystery: deft plotting, lively dialogue, timely information, knowledgeable opinion, and acute commentary on the ways of the world. Private Heat is the beginning of a very exciting new series.
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