Hard Dog To Kill

Hard Dog To Kill

by Craig Holt


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Stan Mullens is an American mercenary in the Congo who sees himself as a good guy with a bad job. Stan’s self-assigned mission to protect his long time brother-in-arms, Frank, takes a serious hit when their boss sends them on an unsupported mission into the jungle to track and kill Tonde Chiora, a former company employee accused of stealing vital company mining technology.

As their mission takes them deep into the violent heart of the Congo, Stan soon discovers that his victim hasn’t done anything to warrant being murdered. And as he struggles to survive the jungle, his enemies, and Frank’s random acts of violent stupidity, he finds himself increasingly drawn in by the innocence and optimism of the man he is supposed to kill.

With his enemies closing in and his friendship with Frank falling apart, Stan has to make a dangerous choice between his old loyalties and his new friends. Maybe hardest of all, he has to make peace with the realization that despite what he’s told himself all these years, he is not one of the good guys.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781947290358
Publisher: SceneBooks Inc.
Publication date: 11/04/2017
Pages: 348
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.72(d)

About the Author

Craig Holt is the author of three books, four screenplays, and a whole mess of short stories. His novel Hard Dog to Kill was a finalist in both the Pacific Northwest Writer's Association Literary Competition, and the Colorado Gold Writing Contest. When he is not scribbling in the pre-dawn hours, he is an avid (obsessive?) reader.

By day he is a professional coffee geek. Every two years he gets his tongue re-certified. You know - for the coffee business. (Yeah. I know...) In a previous life he was an expedition leader for an eco-tourism company. Between that job and the coffee gig, he has been lucky enough to visit more than 70 countries, with stops on all of the continents.

Because he believes that it's better to wear out than to rot he has participated in destructive sports all his life, including (but not limited to) football, wrestling, rugby, soccer, and Tae kwon do. He has completed marathons, iron-distance triathlons, and ultra-marathons.

Craig lives in Seattle with his incredible wife and kids, in an old house full of books.

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Hard Dog To Kill 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
CathyGeha More than 1 year ago
Hard Dog to Kill by Craig Holt Traveling through the Congo with two men who have been “killers” for ten years was…interesting…very interesting indeed… Stan Mullins and Frank Giordano met early in their military days and became inseparable. Frank has saved Stan a number of times and though Stan, the narrator, doesn’t mention it my guess is that he has had Frank’s back numerous times, too. The two men have seen much violence and dispensed death to many but Stan has perhaps retained more of his humanity than Frank has. I do wonder what was in the letter Frank received that turned him into the colder version of himself that he displays throughout this book. Anyway, the two men are off on a journey to find one man for their employer and bring him in but their encounters on the way include many adventures. They interact with a variety of Congolese; face danger that slithers, flies, walks on two and four legs, slithers and explodes; lose friends and interact with one another and others in ways that were at times uncomfortable to read. The book is violent. Many people are killed. Miseries are described. Politics are alluded to. Friendship is explored. Humanity is displayed. Inhumanity is experienced. Greed is a given. The future of a mercenary is broached. And by the end of the book I understood the relationship of Frank and Stan a bit better realizing that war creates warriors who kill – killing dehumanizes and becomes easier – some killers lose sensitivity – some people who kill still have possibilities. I also realized that soldiers must have a different kind of “friendship” than civilians. I would like to know what happens in the future and wonder if Stan will appear in future books. Thank you to NetGalley and WildBlue Press for the ARC – This is my honest review. 4-5 Stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Set in the bloody diamond region of the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Holt has crafted a compelling story of two American ex-special forces soldiers turned mercenaries. They're sent by Mister Zhou, head of a Chinese mining company, to kill renegade African employee Tonde Chiora, who Zhou claims has stolen company secrets. By the time the two mercenaries find Chiora, they realize they've been sent on a fool's errand. Their journey is fraught with the kind of deadly violence that's sadly common in a country where chaos is the norm. The story unfolds via mercenary Stan Mullens, a well-read man who dreams of buying a cattle ranch in Texas. Stan is a beacon of sanity and a moral foil for his uncontrollable partner, Frank. Having personally prowled the mining regions of eastern DRC, I can confirm that Holt deftly captures the often horrific realities there. The book is a skillful and dramatic portrayal of the dark side of diamond business, which diamond dealers refuse to acknowledge. Holt's work has literary overtones of the classic, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, as well as Joseph Conrad's The Heart of Darkness. While it's not for the faint of heart, it's a highly satisfying and wild ride through lawless land. An unforgettable tale that's hard to put down.