Daniel is one of the most feared cage fighters in Mixed Martial Arts, closing in on greatness until an injury ruins his career. Forced back to his rural hometown, career derailed, he slips into the criminal underworld, moonlighting as muscle for a mid-level gangster he has known since childhood. Battling a cycle of rural poverty, Daniel and his wife Sarah struggle to secure a better life for their daughter, but in this violent and unpredictable world of back-country criminals and county cops, Daniel sparks a conflict that can only be settled in blood. Written in spare, muscular prose, In the Cage penetrates the heart of what it means to endure life in the underclass, revealing the small joys found there.
PRAISE FOR KEVIN HARDCASTLE
“There is a sure-handed display of craftsmanship in these eleven stories … Everyone gets hurt, but everything makes sense, and the storytelling is so good—the language, a soothing balm for the pain.” —John Irving, The Cider House Rules
“[Debris] has its own strong voice… smoothly connected by uncompromising settings and Hardcastle’s authentic, plainspoken country-noir voice, the 11 stories collected here will appeal to fans of gritty, back-country crime fiction, even those who typically shun short stories.” —Booklist