The Hard Bounce

todd robinson

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“…Robinson’s the best hardboiled crime writer I’ve come across in years.”
—Benjamin Whitmer, author of Pike




Boo Malone lost everything when he was sent to St. Gabriel’s Home for Boys. There, he picked up a few key survival skills; a wee bit of an anger management problem; and his best friend for life, Junior. Now adults, Boo and Junior have a combined weight of 470 pounds (mostly Boo’s), about ten grand in tattoos (mostly Junior’s), and a talent for wise-cracking banter. Together, they provide security for the Cellar, a Boston nightclub where the bartending Audrey doles out hugs and scoldings for her favorite misfits, and the night porter, Luke, expects them to watch their language. At last Boo has found a family.

But when Boo and Junior are hired to find Cassandra, a well-to-do runaway slumming among the authority-shy street kids, Boo sees in the girl his own long-lost younger sister. And as the case deepens with evidence that Cassie is being sexually exploited, Boo’s blind desire for justice begins to push his surrogate family’s loyalty to the breaking point. Cassie’s life depends on Boo’s determination to see the case through, but that same determination just might finally drive him and Junior apart. What’s looking like an easy payday is turning into a hard bounce—for everyone.


“In this dynamic hard-boiled quasi-PI novel by Robinson…the burly William “Boo” Malone, with his bouncer friend Darrell “Junior” McCullough, runs the 4DC Security outfit based out of a Boston blue-collar bar called the Cellar. …Boo survives stakeouts, a beating, a shooting, and a run-in with the local mob boss before he and Junior wrap up their first case, neither tidily nor predictably, leaving enough setup for what may become a sturdy new crime fiction series.”
Publishers Weekly

“Robinson… peoples his first novel with a host of imaginatively drawn thugs, villains, victims, and rascals, and he has filled his story with top-shelf tough talk, mayhem, lots of raunch, some laughs, and a vivid sense of place. Readers who enjoy a good wallow in all of the above will feel right at home with The Hard Bounce.”

“Schooled by retro pulp and a workingman’s gritty self-preservation, Todd Robinson’s prose cuts with a rusty blade and we can’t tear our eyes away. No glib talkers here, no high-handed lessons, just the kind of noir you’ll recognize if you ever had to pick between frying pan and fire.”
—Sophie Littlefield, author of A Bad Day for Pretty

“Todd Robinson’s debut is tough and gritty, but what makes The Hard Bounce such a standout is its sly humor and surprising poignancy. The razor-sharp dialogue will have Elmore Leonard watching his back.”
—Hilary Davidson, author of The Damage Done and The Next One to Fall

“Todd Robinson is an immense talent, writing modern crime fiction with a toughness, realism, humor, and smooth prose that few match.”
—Dave Zeltserman, author of Outsourced

“A brilliant novel—smart, funny, and deeply moving.”
—Ken Bruen, Barry and Shamus Award winning author of The Devil

“Staccato-like dialogue and action start to finish; this author has writing chops and reminds us of it throughout this hardboiled yet poignant story of a dark past, the loss of humanity, and the difficult road to finding it again in places most dare not look.”
—Charlie Stella, author of Johnny Porno

“The Hard Bounce is a big, proud, bruiser of a novel—packed with humor, guts, and heavyweight grace. Robinson’s the best hardboiled crime writer I’ve come across in years.”
—Benjamin Whitmer, author of Pike

“The team of Boo and Junior are two of the best, most entertaining characters to invade hardboiledfiction in a long time. Todd Robinson’s The Hard Bounce follows this dynamic duo through the underbelly of Boston as they get bruised, beaten, battered, shocked, and shot. Being a bouncer is an even tougher gig than you thought. A kick in the nutsack with a surprising amount of heart.”
—Victor Gischler, Edgar- and Anthony-nominated author of Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse

“The Hard Bounce is one of those rare debuts that roars its intentions from the first page and that keeps you reading with the power and force of its darkly witty voice. Robinson’s bringing crime back to the mean, working streets where it’s always belonged with this deeply affecting, startlingly affecting novel. Boo Malone is one of the most intriguing, compelling, and empathetic protagonists I’ve encountered in a while, and you’ll be thinking about the secrets of his past for a long time after you’ve finished that last page.”
—Russel D. McLean, author of The Lost Sister

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