Dead Dolls Don’t Talk/Hunt the Killer/Too Hot to Hold
Stark House, Aug 31 2011, $23.95
Dead Dolls Don t Talk. In 1958 Harry and Bonnie meet in a bar on Sunset Strip for a New Year weekend of sex. She asks him if he thinks he can handle her wealthy husband John. As the months go by one murder leads to another; Police Inspector Kelly investigates while Hart is the fall guy.
Hunt the Killer. Fishing boat captain Charlie White is released from a Florida prison after serving four years. The Warden and lifer plus Swede warn him to make an adjustment from self pity by returning to the water. Zo welcomes Charlie back to civilian life while the latter’s wife Beth does not. Zo and Charlie make love when someone attacks them; killing Zo and leaving White to die. However, White survives only to learn the cops hunt him for killing Zo.
Too Hot to Hold. Although taxi driver Mike Scaffidi was unaware of his pending death in two days, his demise begins with picking up Linda Lou Larson at Grand Central Station in 1958. The model from Chicago abruptly jumps from Mike’s cab only to be hit by a truck. The accident report filed by the traffic cop leads to one less cabbie.
The three reprints of 1950s crime thrillers are entertaining tales that focus on an innocent person trapped in deadly webs not of their making; as one thing leads to another. Although contemporary when written, the five plus decades turn the entries into enjoyable character driven historical noir pulp fiction. In the introduction, David Laurence Wilson called the author one of the “Great Trio” (along with Whittington and Brewer) in 1950s crime fiction; this entry affirms Mr. Wilson assertion.