Wil Hardesty
Created by Richard Barre

Presenting the surfer dude as angst-ridden PI. California's WIL HARDESTY made an auspicious debut in 1995's The Innocents, scooping up a Shamus for Best First Novel, and praise from folks like Michael Collins, Stephen Greenleaf, Michael Connelly and Ross Thomas.

Wil's a Vietnam vet still trying to come to terms with not just his war experience, but the death of his young son in a surfing accident, which he blames himself for. Oh yeah, and his relationship with his wife is oft-times strained. Seems no matter what mean streets Wil goes down, he can always find a bit of time for a little hairshirt-wearing and soul-searching.

I wasn't that impressed, but people keep urging me to take another whack at him.


  • "One of the best hard-boiled detective novelists of the '90s"
    San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
  • "I read two (of the series). The first was ok. The second was identical, and thus no good.
    Some people rave about this series, but it didn't wear well with me.
    Guy is a surfer. Fights a drinking problem. Son died while surfing with him.
    Japanese wife plays him like a yoyo. Guilt trip. Gets in some shootouts with bad guys. Bad guys are real bad. But he wins.
    Oh yeah, he drives an old car.
    There, now you don't have to read them."
    -- Timothy S. Oliver, from Rara-Avis, February 2000)


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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