Books by Gary Hardwick

Gary Hardwick is the author of the novels Cold Medina, Double Dead, and Supreme Justice. A former attorney, he is also the screenwriter and director of the hit film The Brothers, as well as a television executive producer. Born and raised in Detroit, Hard

Released: Jan. 4, 2005

"Hardwick (Color of Justice, 2002, etc.) writes crackling scenes and vivid dialogue, but is not entirely convincing in his depiction of the world of espionage. "
A CIA assassin must kill the agent who recruited and mentored him. Read full book review >
COLOR OF JUSTICE by Gary Hardwick
Released: Jan. 1, 2001

"A perceptive study of the prejudices that await light-skinned blacks, particularly those who could pass for white, undercut by stagnant prose and those tetchy, soul-searching, head-shrinking sessions. "
Detroit's Special Crimes Unit has its share of loose cannons. One of the loosest is Detective Danny Cavanaugh, who's trying to curb his trigger-happy tendencies by weekly visits to a police psychiatrist. Brought up among blacks, speaking like a brother, and partnered with black cop Erik Brown, Danny faces personal and professional challenges that include daily showdowns with his black live-in Vinny, an ex-cop law student, her hostile-to-whites family, and the ongoing investigation into the murder of wealthy, prominent black couple John and Lenora Baker. Can Danny's life get any worse? Of course it can. Vinny moves out, and the Baker suspects proliferate with the news that the couple's failed Internet start-up, New, has bankrupted many of the once-wealthiest in Detroit's African-American community. With an assist from an FBI special agent, Danny and Erik interrogate two candidates vying for leadership of a black coalition—one with ties to the Castle Society, a dangerously color-biased group—as well as ex-con preacher Rev. Bolt, whose conversion and makeover don't hide him from his abandoned kids Mohammad, Rimba, and Akema, all aching to settle a score for his familial abuse. More will die before the intervention of top cop Tony Hill (Cold Medina, 1996), a hail of bullets, and a mawkish therapy session quiet Detroit—at least for the night. Read full book review >
DOUBLE DEAD by Gary Hardwick
Released: Aug. 18, 1997

Hardwick fulfills the promise of his first novel (Cold Medina, 1996) with a chilly tale of a black district attorney on the run in Detroit's back alleys. When Harris Yancy, Motown's popular mayor, is knifed to death at the end of an evening with Ramona Lake, his part-time mistress, she breaks away from two ski-masked assassins, carrying the small black suitcase with which she fought them off. Picked up as the designated fall gal in the high-profile killing, Mona tells her story to Jesse King, an up-and-coming star in the prosecutor's office. Against the wishes of his superiors, Jesse launches a quiet investigation that convinces him Mona is innocent. Before he can get her off the hook, however, Jesse himself is framed for murder. Breaking Mona out of the hospital ward where she's being detained, he takes it on the lam in search of the suitcase whose contents may clear them both. Unsure where to turn, Jesse follows Mona's lead. To his chagrin, the street-smart Mona reestablishes contact with her sometime homies, a vicious gang (the Nasty Girls) that's trying to gain a piece of the inner-city drug action. All but lost in the bleak, nihilistic ghetto world of his youth, Jesse stays in touch with a loyal cop who keeps him up to date on behind-the-scenes maneuverings in the political vacuum created by Yancy's untimely demise. With a line on mayoral wannabes and the rival interests that are bankrolling them, he has a better idea of who might be responsible for the slayings. Before Jesse can act on these insights, though, he's not only got to recover the elusive suitcase but elude well-informed hit men, survive the lawless jungle of the 'hood, and bring Mona back alive to corroborate his story. Gritty urban fare with a welcome sense of irony—and an appreciation of how little separates a community's powerbrokers from its criminal classes. Read full book review >
COLD MEDINA by Gary Hardwick
Released: Feb. 19, 1996

An initially impressive first novel whose brilliantly bleak accounts of Detroit's mean streets and black/white tensions are undone at the close by over-the-top plot excesses. Upwardly mobile Tony Hill, the youngest inspector ever to head the Police Department's Special Crimes Unit, has a world of troubles. It's a mayoral election year, and a brutal killer is laying waste to Detroit's black drug gangs. When word is leaked to the press that the murderer, known as the Handyman (for his macabre practice of hacking off the hands of victims), may be white, the always restive city is further polarized. The well-armed young black men who retail dope in Motown's decaying neighborhoods are unnerved as well, and they begin ignoring the truce that has held them in check. Meanwhile, one of the top territorial chieftains, Theodore Bone (a.k.a. T-Bone) accepts an opportunity to put a potent, cost-effective new form of crack cocaine called Medina on the local market. Users take to it in a big way, but Medina triggers violently aberrant behavior in some, and the resulting chaos hinders Tony's investigation of the Handyman homicides. Pressured by superiors to solve the case in a hurry, the good cop (tortured also by a guilty secret and a grudge against all whites) comes close to a breakdown. On a leave of absence after almost blowing the routine capture of a teenaged hit man, Tony stumbles on a corruption conspiracy that provides him with the clues he needs to identify Handyman—and his unlikely accomplice. Newcomer Hardwick, a criminal attorney turned screenwriter, has a firm grasp on the fatalistic attitudes of those who do battle—on both sides—in the urban drug wars. At his best, he shows a promising sense of what makes for a narrative that's genuinely dramatic, as opposed to one that's just sensational. Read full book review >