Named one of the best reads of 2016 by BookPeople bookstore’s crime blog
As an amateur PI with a bent moral compass, Ash McKenna is good at finding people—but not at staying out of trouble. Between his own violent tendencies, the shadow cast by his father’s death, and a self-destructive revenge quest, he made a mess of his life in NYC. Figuring it was time for a change of scenery Ash relocated to Portland, taking a job as a bouncer in a vegan strip club. And he hasn’t had to hit anyone in six months.
So when one of the club’s dancers asks Ash for help finding her daughter, he declines, content to keep the darkness in his past. But soon Ash is held at gunpoint by a man in a chicken mask, and told to keep away from the girls. Unfortunately Ash isn’t good at following directions either.
As Ash navigates an unfamiliar city, he finds himself embroiled in a labyrinthine plot involving a ruthless drug cartel and a scandal that could reach one of the most powerful men in Portland. Ash is dead set on finding the missing girl, but realizes that in order to deliver her safely he may have to cross the one line he promised himself he never would.
“City of Rose has my favorite kind of hero, a tough guy romantic with a smart mouth and a dark past. Terrifically written, and populated with rich characters, this book had me by the throat from page one.” —Chelsea Cain, NYT bestselling author of One Kick
“Hart is a master storyteller who can make a city just as vital as any flesh and blood character.” —Brian Panowich, author of Bull Mountain
“An engaging read… Rough without being sadistic, gritty without being sordid. Ash’s reluctance to use violence to deal with his adversaries resolves itself in a way that doesn’t duck the moral quandary of pacifism, though the vengeance he finally takes isn’t presented as triumphant, either.” —Kirkus
“Briskly told, and Ash’s arch, loopy narration is often very funny.” —Booklist
“Readers will enjoy [Hart’s] playful, jaded hero and twisty plot.” —Publishers Weekly
“City of Rose shows wonderful growth and change… Adding in layers of dry humor and using Ash’s internal monologue to not only be sarcastic, but to give Ash added dimension, is exactly what readers were hoping for.” —Crimespree Magazine
“Rob Hart can write. He has mastered the lean and direct hardboiled style, kind of halfway between John D. MacDonald and Richard Stark.” —Dead End Follies
“City of Rose is playful, snappy, and fun—especially compared to New Yorked, which holds to a more somber, ghost-haunted tone throughout. The Portland setting allows Hart to play into his knacks for dialogue and comedic scene setting… [This] book is genre writing par excellence.” —Entropy Magazine