Saturday, October 26, 2019

College Man by John D. MacDonald - PDF

I came across a John D. MacDonald story that I had never seen before in a scan of the February 1958 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine. It turns out that it has never been anthologized, so pretty much lost for 60 plus years. A little OCR work, editing, and conversion to PDF resulted in the file linked below. This is a great little story that really shows JDMs skills at creating instantly likable characters, and his uncanny ability to ratchet up the tension.

College Man by John D. MacDonald PDF

Review: Murder Mistress

Murder Mistress Murder Mistress by Robert Colby
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A superb take on the heist theme telling the tale of Scott Daniels, an unemployed TV announcer with an alcohol problem who accidentally finds clues to a bank robbery and decides to investigate in order to claim the reward money. While Scott and his wife Myra start collecting clues to solve the crime, the clever couple who have absconded with all of the hold-up money struggle to keep stiffed partner, the brutish Roy, from getting his share. The set up and caper is told in flashbacks and in nice detail. Well plotted and expertly paced. Another page turner and highly recommended for anyone that enjoys a good heist story.

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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Review: Mourn the Hangman

Mourn the Hangman Mourn the Hangman by Harry Whittington
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Steve Blake, a private eye assigned to investigate a corrupt businessman’s South American operations returns home to find his wife murdered, an assumed frame job. Blake goes vigilante in a relentless one-man pursuit of his wife’s killer which puts him at odds with the police, his detective partner, and the powerful businessman’s entourage. A nice take on the “guy on the run seeking revenge” theme that keeps the pages turning. The dialog and prose is strong, although the plot relies a lot on coincidence, with Blake always showing up just in time to find someone just killed. A very entertaining, albeit somewhat flawed, page burner.

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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Review: Chicago Wipe-Out

Chicago Wipe-Out Chicago Wipe-Out by Don Pendleton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bolan arrives in Chicago, a hotbed of mob activity, and vows destruction of the Mafia families that control the corrupt city. Rather than battle the mob directly, Bolan uses the information provided by a man who had researched the corruption, a man who paid a steep price when his life was devastated by revenge, to identity and manipulate the families into a war with each other. It was interesting that the the book focused more on the Mafia characters than Bolan himself, and that the obligatory love interest, a dancer named Jimi, was merely a minor character. Another very good entry in the long-running series.

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Sunday, October 6, 2019

Review: The Road's End

The Road's End The Road's End by Albert Conroy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Albert Conroy is a pseudonym of Marvin H. Albert, a writer of many fine crime and western novels. For a while in the middle 1900s there were plenty of movies and books with an amnesia storyline, where someone gets bonked on the head and doesn’t remember anything. In this short novel, Dan Ginger, a philandering jackass, wakes up after being left for dead with no recall of what happened to him and soon is accused of the murder of a young woman that he has been fooling around with. Dan has to try to solve the murder, which turns out to be a complex web of people and events that he needs to piece together without the aid of his memory. This is truly an excellent novel with razor sharp plotting and pacing, and many vibrant characters. Best amnesia book I’ve ever read. An easy five stars.

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