HOOP NOIR – Two Full Novels By

Two gritty, fast-moving novels set in the world of basketball by legendary crime writer Ralph Dennis.


A hard-edged novel of sex, crime, and corruption in 1970s Atlanta… and the man who is paid to hide it all. Vince Gorman is a ruthless lawyer with flexible morality who makes problems go away for David Wardlaw, an Atlanta real estate developer and the owner of the city’s pro basketball team. Wardlaw doesn’t care how Vince fixes things…as long as it gets done. But now Vince is in over his head… covering up a possibly fatal hit-and-run by the team’s hard-partying star shooter… and competing with Wardlaw’s rivals to bribe, blackmail and intimidate the corrupt politicians who award the city’s rich construction contracts…all while desperately scrambling to keep his own life of dark secrets, relentless womanizing, and soul-rotting compromises from crashing down around him. 

This is an edited and revised version of a book previously published in 1975 under the title Atlanta.


A lost, previously unpublished manuscript discovered decades after Ralph Dennis’ death. The legendary crime novelist takes “police procedural” approach to 1980s college basketball, tracking a struggling, but ambitious team through a tumultuous season, approaching each game like a decisive battle in a bloody war.

Timothy McCarren is the tough, hard-charging new sports director at a small North Carolina university. To him, the basketball court is a battlefield, the players are his soldiers, and he is their cunning General, leading them into war…and showing no mercy. He will do whatever it takes, bend any rule, and push his players to their physical and emotional limits to make them champions.

Praise for Ralph Dennis:

“THE BROKEN FIXER is a forerunner of THE WIRE in its insight into the way the city really works. It’s a story that ropes you in. Dennis displays an impressive scope and great characterisations. This is cool noir and the story is perfectly pitched. An ambitious and insightful read.” NB Magazine UK

“Ralph Dennis has mastered the genre and supplied top entertainment.” New York Times

“His prose is muscular, swift and highly readable. ” Joe R. Lansdale, author of the Hap & Leonard novels, the basis for the hit TV series.

“Exceptional characterization, strong and vigorous prose, and a glimpse into a place and time that has long since disappeared.” Mystery Scene Magazine

“An underappreciated master.” Robert J. Randisi, founder of the Private Eye Writers of America.

“Straight-up, hardboiled crime fiction, written in a tight, evocative voice with a wicked, dark sense of humor.” Lee Goldberg, #1 New York Times bestselling author of True Fiction and Lost Hills