So, the second Tennyson Hardwick novel, In the Night of the Heat, is out, and if you liked Casanegra, which I did and reviewed here, you'll like this one -- the trio of Underwood, Due, and Barnes have found the range. The characters from the first novel are developed more, the action and sex and gumshoe-ry are mixed well, and it is all served in a tall glass with a Hollywood insiders' whipped, sweet-and-tart topping ...
The hero is a C-list actor, Tennyson Hardwick, a name that is certainly appropriate, formerly a professional ladies man. Ten does unofficial private eye and bodyguard work when he finds himself dragged into the middle of a situation not of his own making, either in self-defense, or in this case, guilt.
Ten gets involved in the death of T.D. Jackson, a former schoolmate and famous football player and actor who was tried for murdering his wife and her fiance, but found not guilty. Sound familiar?
The plot is twisty, and I won't give any of it away. There are hot sex scenes, fights, car chases, and colorful characters hither and yon. Some sexual harassment, intrigue on the set, lost love, and even a bit of Southern Gothic. (My favorite minor character, just a walk-on, is an arrogant former A-list actor doing guest shots on TV -- if you read it, you'll see why.)
A great read and a fun ride. Give it an R-rating for sex and violence and 4.5 stars*. I still see this as an HBO series, and if they are paying attention over there, they'll snap it up.
* (One minor quibble involves some of the hardware. Nothing major, but gun nuts will notice and mark it, even if most people won't. If the viewpoint around the shootin' irons is that of a regular guy, you keep it general. If it is through the eyes of an expert, then you have to get the details right. I expect it won't happen again, since I pointed it out to Barnes.)