Call South 3300: Ask for Molly! by Orrie Hitt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
If there was ever an Orrie Hitt book set up for one of his $300 abortion plot lines this was it, but not much of a spoiler to say no abortions here. Slade Martin is a hard charging sales director and Ann Frank is a secretary moonlighting as a prostitute. Hitt sticks to their POVs, alternating chapters, and actually does a deep dive (if not very nuanced) into their motivations and this gives the narrative a welcome edginess. The business is the manufacture and selling of TV sets, but Hitt does not explore that milieu with any depth, and that is a disappointment because one of the fun things about reading Hitt's books is that he typically provided a time capsule look into 1950s/1960s business. Not so much this time. Likewise with conventions. Despite the tease on the jacket copy, the convention aspect is barely shown. So don't read this expecting a take on conventions. Plenty of other vintage sleaze books to a better job of showing convention hi-jinks. And it would have been better with more of a noir plot as the prostitution angle doesn't get edgy at all. This is mostly a character study of two needy people. What do they need and will they be satisfied? Although disappointing in many ways, Hitt did more with character than usual, and that made it more interesting than some of his other books. And this was actually one of the few times that Hitt surprised me with the direction he went with the ending. The Beacon paperback is scarce, but there is now an eBook version available.
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