Tuesday, May 11, 2010

From Cape Town With Love - Book Review

The next Tennyson Hardwick novel, From Cape Town With Love, presented by Blair Underwood, and written by Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes, is about to become available. Looks like the treeware and Kindle versions will be up on Amazon.com on May 18th.

I reviewed the two earlier novels in this series favorably: Casanegra and In the Night of the Heat, and the third book is the best of the bunch. The writing is seamless -- trying to figure out which scenes were done by which writer? Can't really -- Due and Barnes have that down. And they have gotten comfortable with the character, who has been fleshed out and made more interesting and complex. Hardwick's relationship with his father is expanded upon, and his feelings about who he is and what he does add much to the narrative.

For those of you just discovering him, "Ten" Hardwick is a B-list actor (he's moved up a bit) who does some unofficial private eye and bodyguard work on the side. Formerly a paid escort who serviced rich and beautiful women in LaLaLand, Ten this time finds himself involved in protecting a movie star, and later dealing with the kidnapping of her adopted child.

The scenario shifts from L.A. to Africa. Lots of sex, violence, derring-do, and a broad international sweep this time gives the tale an extra dimension. There are inside stories about Hollywood, and the African material is from firsthand experience.

Like the two previous books in in the series, this is a romp, and I recommend it highly.

In the interests of full disclosure, I must point out that Barnes and T and I have known each other for years, and that I read the novel in ms form with an eye toward offering my small knowledge of gun stuff where it might be needed. My vested interest is thus small, but just so you know.

They've even done a video trailer for it that looks way cool on YouTube, which, once you see it, really makes you want to see a movie version of it. I still believe that HBO is missing a major bet by not snapping this up for a series. Are you listening, HBO? If you can do crappy vampires, you can surely do something like this.

If you grab the video trailer and slow it down, you'll see in one scene Steve Barnes, playing one of the Bad Guys, getting his ass kicked; his facial expression in the sequence is great. Too bad the part where he wound up booted into the swimming pool got cut. I'd have liked to see that.

Another winner, this book.

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