Hardwick, Gary 1960–
Hardwick, Gary 1960–
(Gary C. Hardwick, Gary Clifford Hardwick)
Born May 4, 1960, in Detroit, MI; son of Willie Steve and Mary Louise Hardwick; married Susan Annette Hall, July 2, 1988; children: Bailey Alexander. Education: University of Michigan, B.A., 1982; Wayne State University, J.D., 1985. Religion: Baptist.
Writer, attorney, screenwriter, director, actor, comic, and novelist. Admitted to the Bar of Michigan, 1985. U.S. Bankruptcy Court for eastern district Michigan, Detroit, law clerk to presiding justice, 1985-87; Michigan Consolidated Gas Company, attorney, 1988-90; U.S. Department of Justice, Los Angeles, CA, U.S. Trustee, 1990—. Disney Studios fellow. Actor in films, including The Brothers.
American Bar Association, Michigan Bar Association, California Bar Association, Wolverine County Bar Association, Association for Corporate Counsel.
Cold Medina, Dutton (New York, NY), 1996.
Double Dead, Dutton (New York, NY), 1997.
Supreme Justice, William Morrow (New York, NY), 1999.
Color of Justice, William Morrow (New York, NY), 2002.
The Executioner's Game, William Morrow (New York, NY), 2005.
Trippin', October Films, 1999.
(And director) The Brothers, Screen Gems, 2001.
(Cowriter, and director) Deliver Us from Eva, USA Films, 2003.
(And producer and director) Universal Remote, USA Films, 2007.
Also author of scripts for television series, including Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, 1992, Where I Live, ABC, 1993, South Central, FOX, 1994, Me and the Boys (also producer), ABC, 1994, In the House (also producer), NBC/UPN, 1995, Matt Waters (also producer), CBS, 1996, and Spawn Animated, HBO.
Television scriptwriter, attorney, screenwriter, director, and mystery novelist Gary Hardwick brings his life experience to his suspenseful stories of crime in the streets of Detroit. Hardwick grew up in Detroit and loved above all to watch television and to write—in fact, they are still his favorite pastimes. But he opted for a career in law, performing stand-up comedy to pay the bills while he was in law school. Hardwick actually wrote his first novel when he was nineteen, but did not write another until many years later since, in his words, "young people don't have a lot to say—life experiences come later." He eventually moved to Los Angeles where he has worked as a television scriptwriter and produced the sitcom In the House.
Hardwick, an African-American, is the author of what may be the first legal thriller to feature a black protagonist. The author's novels have sold well, particularly in Detroit, and Hardwick explained that "I paint Detroit in realistic terms…. it's really two cities: wealthy and poor and both cities, both the haves and have-nots, are black."
Hardwick's first novel, Cold Medina, takes place during a close Detroit mayoral race. In the midst of intense politicking, a serial killer—who turns out to be white—is murdering and mutilating the bodies of African American drug lords, bringing race relations in the city to a near frenzy. Additionally, a new cocaine-like drug called cold medina has been unleashed on the streets, provoking extremely aggressive behavior. A Publishers Weekly contributor called the book "a fast paced, suspenseful chiller," and commented on the "intriguing situations and offbeat characters" Hardwick weaves within his storyline.
Hardwick sets his next novel in Detroit as well, again among crime and politics. In Double Dead, the city's mayor is murdered by two assassins, bringing to light the mayor's extramarital affair. The mayor's mistress manages to escape with her murdered lover's briefcase, which may hold the key to the crime. In the meantime the case is investigated by county prosecutor Jesse King, who is opposed by lawyer and ex-lover Karen Blake. As the mayor's murder is investigated, it becomes clear that the victim had been involved in questionable dealings and relationships. When Blake is murdered and King is framed for her killing, he and the deceased mayor's mistress team up in an effort to clear their own names and solve the case.
Danny Cavanaugh, the protagonist of Color of Justice, is a white man raised in a black community in Detroit, where he now works as a police officer. Prone to violence, Cavanaugh works in the city's Special Crimes Unit, tackling some of the toughest, ugliest cases. Cavanaugh is brought in to investigate the torture/murder of a prominent African American couple, John and Lenora Baker. He discovers that the Bakers were the force behind an Internet start-up, NewNubia.com, that had led to financial ruin for many of Detroit's wealthiest African Americans. As more murders occur, Cavanaugh realizes that the killer is targeting light-skinned blacks, those who usually have more success associating with the white community. Complicating matters is Cavanaugh's troubles with his black live-in girlfriend, Vinny; members of a race-based group, the Castle Society; and a reformed convict preacher, whose three adult children are pursuing him to settle scores from their abusive childhoods. The book "features compelling scenes of racial conflict and personal strife," noted a Publishers Weekly reviewer, while Booklist contributor Connie Fletcher found that Hardwick offers an "unflinching picture of how race plays out on the streets and in the police." A Kirkus Reviews critic called Hardwick's story "a perceptive study of the prejudices that await light-skinned blacks, particularly those who could pass for white."
The Executioner's Game, a political thriller, opens with the unexpected death of U.S. Secretary of Commerce Donald Howard in the jungles of the Congo. Howard had been in the African nation to observe the plight of AIDS sufferers, which moves him emotionally and makes him determined to seek U.S. assistance for the area. Howard is shocked by his Secret Service protector Alex Deavers's indifference to the suffering around him. Before Howard can leave Africa, an explosive is detonated in the vehicle he and Deavers are traveling in, killing Howard. Protagonist Luther Green is a hardened military veteran and survivor of the streets, currently working as a coldly effective CIA agent. All of his experience does not prepare him for the shocking assignment to kill Deavers, his mentor from the CIA academy, who is found to not be a Secret Service agent and who is suspected of killing Howard. Green does not believe his longtime friend is a killer, but in deference to his sense of duty, he sets off to fulfill his mission. Doubts and second-thoughts plague him, however, as he tracks the elusive Deavers before a final confrontation in Green's native Detroit. Hardwick "writes crackling scenes and vivid dialogue," commented a Kirkus Reviews contributor. He "brings us a well-developed, well-paced story," one that "reaches into the psychological and emotional life of the hero, giving insight into the double-timing, dangerous and distrusting world of undercover work," remarked Tanu T. Henry in Black Issues Book Review.
Hardwick is the screenwriter and director of a number of successful motion pictures. The Brothers follows the romantic adventures of four childhood friends in Los Angeles, now adults and successful and affluent in their own careers. The story revolves around the four men and their difficulties with women. Jackson avoids commitment, while Terry feels more than ready to settle down and get married. Derrick, on the other hand, feels trapped and strangled by his marriage, and Brian is so frustrated that he entertains the idea of swearing off dating black women forever. As the men traverse their individual situations, developments unfold that teach them important lessons about their relationships and the women in their lives. "Hardwick is far less interested in scoring sociological points than in revving up his audience with rude hilarity and outrageous situations. And he pretty much pulls it off" with an appealing cast and considerable humor, noted reviewer Robert W. Butler in the Kansas City Star.
Deliver Us from Eva pits three men against the strong-willed older sister of the women in their lives. Eva Dandridge is a tough professional woman who serves as a protector of her younger sisters Kareenah, Jacqui, and Bethany. Eva's strong influence over her sisters' lives and decisions frustrates their husbands and boyfriends. At Eva's urging, Kareenah puts off having children with her husband Tim; Bethany refuses to move in with her policeman boyfriend Mike unless they are married; and Jacqui follows Eva's advice in her marriage to postal worker Darrell. The three men hatch a plan to remove Eva's unwanted presence from their lives, hiring smooth ladies' man Ray Adams to court her and thereby distract her from her sisters' affairs. Ray assumes the challenge—and a challenge it is, at least until the unexpected happens, and Ray and Eva begin falling in love. The "well-cast relationship comedy-drama is played too broadly in the early going, but gradually settles into a more appealing groove as a glossy date-movie," commented Joe Leydon in Variety. Hollywood Reporter critic Frank Scheck noted that "the film ultimately proves itself a reasonably diverting lark." As director and screenwriter, Hardwick "delivers the goods for a moderately budgeted romantic comedy of solid entertainment aspirations," remarked Film Journal International reviewer Doris Toumarkine.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Black Issues Book Review, May-June, 2005, Tanu T. Henry, review of The Executioner's Game, p. 69.
Booklist, December 1, 2001, Connie Fletcher, review of Color of Justice, p. 632.
Daily Variety, February 5, 2003, Joe Leydon, review of Deliver Us from Eva, p. 6.
Film Journal International, February, 2003, Doris Toumarkine, review of Deliver Us from Eva, p. 31.
Hollywood Reporter, September 24, 2001, Zorianna Kit and Chris Gardner, "Union Perfect for USA's Eva," p. 3; September 26, 2001, Zorianna Kit, "Getting Eva," review of Deliver Us from Eva, p. 1; February 3, 2003, Frank Scheck, review of Deliver Us from Eva, p. 9.
Kansas City Star, March 22, 2001, Robert W. Butler, review of The Brothers.
Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 2001, review of Color of Justice, p. 1519; December 15, 2004, review of The Executioner's Game, p. 1156.
Publishers Weekly, November 20, 1995, review of Cold Medina, p. 65; November 12, 2001, review of Color of Justice, p. 36; December 6, 2004, review of The Executioner's Game, p. 43.
Variety, May 17, 1999, Dennis Harvey, review of Trippin', p. 54; March 19, 2001, Robert Koehler, review of The Brothers, p. 30; February 3, 2003, Joe Leydon, review of Deliver Us from Eva, p. 32.
Filmbug.com,http://www.filmbug.com/ (January 2, 2007), biography of Gary Hardwick.
Gary Hardwick Home Page, http://www.garyhardwick.com (January 2, 2007).
Internet Movie Database Web site,http://www.imdb.com/ (January 2, 2007), filmography of Gary Hardwick.