A Touch of Death by Charles Williams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ex-jock narrator falls for a cute bikini woman’s scheme to help rob some stolen cash from an uninhabited house, but then he unexpectedly finds it occupied by a drunken hottie who turn out to be even more devious than the first. A great opening sets the stage for a taut rollercoaster of a noir that never fails to keep ramping up the tension as the narrator keeps digging himself into a deeper hole. Williams expertly unwinds the story of the stolen cash and the players involved in a way that doesn't make the complex plot feel that way. The puzzle pieces fall into place forcing the beleaguered narrator to keep continuously adjusting his plans. Terrific dialog, clever plotting, and some very interesting characters make this one a masterpiece of 1950s paperback noir. Highly recommended.
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