Cover image for Hard freeze
Hard freeze
Simmons, Dan.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : [St. Martin's Press], 2002.
Physical Description:
296 pages ; 25 cm
Kurtz must face the wrath of "Little Skag" Farino, the local Mafia don, and his vengeful sister Angelina while trying to track down a serial killer.
General Note:
Publisher imprint varies.
Geographic Term:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



There's a bitter wind brewing in Buffalo, New York and it's blowing in more than just snow. "Little Skag" Farino, the last don of the local crime family, wants Kurtz dead and is sending in platoons of hit men, starting with the Attica Three Stooges and working up through more competent killers. Little Skag's beautiful sister, Angelina Farino Ferrara, is back from seven years in Sicily and has her own deadly agenda for Kurtz.

If that isn't enough, Kurtz is approached by a dying concert violinist who wants his daughter's killer found. Rejecting the case at first, he is soon on the trail of a man who's not just the murderer of one child, but a cold-blooded serial killer who is a master of alternate identities and has the power to send a hundred men after Kurtz. As the bodies pile up like cords of wood, Hard Freeze hits town with the power of a whiteout blizzard and builds to a truly chilling climax. This is a crime novel where trigger fingers freeze to blue steel.

Author Notes

Science fiction writer Dan Simmons was born in East Peoria, Illinois in 1948. He graduated from Wabash College in 1970 and received an M. A. from Washington University the following year.

Simmons was an elementary school teacher and worked in the education field for a decade, including working to develop a gifted education program.

His first successful short story was won a contest and was published in 1982. His first novel, Song of Kali, won a World Fantasy Award, and Simmons has also won a Theodore Sturgeon Award for short fiction, four Bram Stoker Awards, and eight Locus Awards. He is also the author of the Hyperion series, and Simmons and his work have been compared to Herbert's Dune and Asimov's Foundation series.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The second installment of the hard-boiled Joe Kurtz series requires enough disbelief suspension to support the Golden Gate Bridge. But once you get past a plot coincidence so preposterous that one of the bad guys is moved to call it a gift from God, Simmons' novel uncoils into a deliciously brutal chess game between a chameleon serial killer and ex-con PI Kurtz. Pawns in the match include Kurtz's teenage daughter, who doesn't know her dad--or that he's trying to protect her from a drunk, abusive stepfather--along with a rough assortment of goon cops, inept contract killers, ambitious Mafia princesses, homicidal dentists, mentally deficient underworld kingpins, homeless intellectuals, and a world-famous violinist looking to avenge the murder of his child. In addition to crafting one of the least likable protagonists you'll ever find yourself rooting for, Simmons employs the snow-blanketed quiet of Buffalo, New York, to great effect and writes action scenes that'll leave your hands clammy on the page. If only he'd provided a more believable set-up, Simmons might have produced a crime-fiction tour de force. Frank Sennett

Publisher's Weekly Review

Hannibal Lecter meets the Godfather in multitalented Simmons's hard, brutal crime thriller, set in Buffalo, N.Y., and second in the series after Hardcase (2001). Ex-private eye Kurtz, recently released from prison after serving 11 years for killing the murderers of his beautiful partner, Samantha Fielding, finds himself stalked by the Attica Three Stooges Moe, Larry and Curly. After a bloody shootout that leaves one Stooge dead, Kurtz takes Curly for a ride in a speeding car and says: "You can take one in the head.... Then I dump you. You can take one in the belly, maybe we crash. Or you can take a chance and tuck and roll. Plus, there's some snow out there. Probably as soft as a goosedown pillow." Exit Curly. Kurtz soon learns that he's been marked for death by a local Mafia don and that the man actually responsible for Samantha's death is alive and well. And that's just for starters. Meanwhile, Kurtz is approached by John Wellington Frears, a world-famous violinist dying of colon cancer, to find his daughter's murderer a serial child-killer so adept at changing identities he could give lessons to Ferdinand Demara, the Great Impostor. Violent, fast-paced, with a high body count and plenty of sanguinary and pyrotechnic detail, this high-octane thriller should please both hard-boiled addicts and Simmons devotees. Whatever qualms one may have about Kurtz surely one of the darkest, most amoral protagonists of recent crime fiction it's Simmons at his hard-driving best. (Aug. 9) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Killings in wintry Buffalo leave Jackson Pollock-like splatters in the snow. That's just one of the many lessons to be learned from Simmons's very hard-edged mystery featuring Joe Kurtz. Picking up where 2001's Hardcase ended, Kurtz is still loose in the heart of darkness that's Buffalo in the winter. He's still smarting from his stint in Attica and finds himself at the center of a mob free-for-all. If that weren't enough to keep things interesting, he's contacted by a concert violinist whose wife and daughter were murdered 20 years ago; the violinist thinks he saw the murderer at the airport. In trying to unravel that case, Kurtz uncovers a serial rapist/murderer who sees himself as the Great Imposter and whose latest incarnation is as a police captain. The finish, when it comes, is predictably fast and furious, with glints of dark humor that sparkle nicely amidst the Buffalo gloom. The multifaceted Simmons has earned both a Hugo (sf) and a Bram Stoker (mystery/horror) award, and this straight-ahead, no-frills read is sure to garner enthusiasm among fans of Richard Stark and Joe Gores. Recommended for all public libraries. Bob Lunn, Kansas City P.L., MO (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.