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Pretty Ballerina: A Novel

(Book #2 in the Harding Series)

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

It's a Sunday in late July and Harding, the private investigator John Wessel introduced in "This Far, No Further", is riding down a rainslick road with Cassie Rayn, a one-time porn star, headed for... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Excellent novel; hard to find in paperback

The protagonist and his girlfriend have a private-eye-and-sidekick relationship. The plot is interesting but, as with all Wessel novels so far, the journey is the goal, rather than the resolution of the plot. The plot revolves around a once famous 'was she underage at the time of making the films' porn star, just one of the many interesting characters. I hope the author will not mind me saying that, while the plot is tight and complex, it plays second fiddle to this cast and their interactions, and their many intersections with the main character and his gym-owning, once-photographer, black-belt girlfriend. Our hero is ex-alumnus of Chicago U who has done time for murder, and who works off the books for a street-kid who has made good in the corporate security world. Eruditely and wittily written, this is a fine novel that should, IMHO, have seen much wider paperback distribution, as with his other two titles. Definitely recommended for the fans of the 'film noir' hard-boiled private eye genre.

Incredible book, incredible author!

I've read all three of John Wessel's books about Harding, the ex-con PI. All three have kept me up late nights, reading "just one more chapter." I can't put these books down! Pretty Ballerina is the second in the trio, which began with This Far, No Further, and has as its latest (but hopefully not last!) installment Kiss It Goodbye. All three books are fast-paced, loaded with action, and are damn good mysteries that will keep you scratching your head until the end. Harding's cynical world view leads to some hilarious observances, but this guy's no slouch as a PI; he never misses a trick. Well, almost never. His girfriend, Alison, is equally intriguing as a kick[in] femme who keeps Harding on his toes and watches his back. She could give Xena a run for her money! All in all, the characters and the stories in John Wessels' novels a well-worth the price of admission. Wonderful books, all!

great read

I read alot of mystery/thriller novels and this one was good change from the usual formulaic mysteries I've been reading. The novel has an atmosphere that evokes a film noir feel and Harding is great as the reluctant hero.

Excellent read; thoroughly absorbing

Twenty-two years ago, a young boy, Kim Moon disappeared without a trace. Two years after that, their father allegedly murdered Kim's adoptive family with Cassie Rayn, hiding in the basement, being the lone survivor. Over the next two decades, Cassie became a famous porn star. However, she has recently received missives from "Lost Moon Developers" that are reminders of that night of terror and hints that her adoptive sibling is still alive. Cassie hires defrocked Chicago private investigator Harding, who lost his license after a manslaughter conviction, to investigate. Harding quickly learns that the Lost Moon Developers have sent letters to other people besides Cassie. He also realizes that the recipients of these missives have a real good reason to fear for their lives. Harding will have to uncover the identity of a nasty evil being rather quickly if he is to keep his client alive. The second Harding mystery, PRETTY BALLERINA, is a compelling novel that will please fans that enjoy the work ethic of a hard-boiled, wisecracking sleuth. The story line is filed with action and a well designed who-done-it. However, it is Harding, that usually unemployed handyman, who turns this novel and the superb debut tale (THIS FAR, NO FURTHER), into great reads.Harriet Klausner
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