The Best Pulp Noir Fiction Volume Five: Four Hard-Boiled Novels

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Four complete novels of raw, hard-boiled, pulp noir greatness by four masters of the genre, back-in-print for the first time in sixty years.

The Long Night By Ovid Demaris * The Cheaters by Ledru Baker Jr. * Johnny Come Deadly by Philip Race * Die on Easy Street by James Howard

THE LONG NIGHT
Vince Slader is an ex-cop-turned-PI who is hired by a casino to hunt down a gambler with a $28,000 tab in return for a percentage of the debt. It seems like a straight-forward job until Slader winds up framed for murder. As if that isn’t bad enough, he becomes a target of hard-charging politicians and the West Coast mafia.

“Demaris saturates the prose with gunplay, fast cars and sexy women. The criminals are edgy, but the hero is a valid, uncompromising tough guy who serves as the perfect crime combatant.” The Paperback Warrior

THE CHEATERS
A crime lord strong-arms Jack Griffith, a struggling musician, into spying on his wife Mardi, who he suspects is cheating on him…but things go very wrong when Jack falls for her himself.

This book was adapted into the 1990 Canadian TV movie Frame Up Blues aka Le Danse du Scorpion

JOHNNY COME DEADLY
Johnny was a crap game hustler, but when he blew into town they pegged him wrong. The cops said, ‘Killer,’ and slugged him simple. ‘Lover,’ the rich gal said, and got him even worse mixed up. Next came the ex-striptease queen with the heart of gold or pewter, and the Happiness Boys from the Syndicate. All Johnny had going for him was a fast pair of legs, a faster set of wits, and just maybe, the one female around who could be counted on to win it or lose it for keeps. A fickle broad named Lady Luck.

DIE ON EASY STREET
The ocean tide washed the body up on the beach. It was a woman’s nude body, without a face or a left hand. And when Steve Ashe discovered the remains of the once-beautiful redhead, he vowed to find her killer and hound him to the gallows. But to do it, Ashe has to tangle with a crooked private eye, an insanely jealous photographer, and a kill-crazy police chief…

“Steve Ashe is a badass!” The Paperback Warrior

The Best Pulp Noir Fiction Volume Four: Four Hard-Boiled Novels

Amazon

Four complete novels of raw, hard-boiled, pulp noir greatness by four masters of the genre, back-in-print for the first time in sixty years.

I Like It Tough by James Howard * Killer Take All by Philip Race * Be My Victimby Robert Dietrich * And Be My Love by Ledru Baker Jr.

I LIKE IT TOUGH
It’s 1955 in Neon City, USA. The vice syndicate’s slimy tentacles stretched everywhere through the corrupt city and only reporter Steve Ashe knows the dark story behind the multi-million dollar traffic in dope and white slavery. And because he knows…he’s a walking dead man.

KILLER TAKE ALL
They call him Johnny Berlin and he has an instinct for cards… for trouble…and for women. He’d dealt at all the biggest tables in Reno and Vegas. He’d told the head of the gambling syn­dicate to go to hell–and repeated the message to his hired killers. He’d had women throwing themselves at him at every turn… and he loved it. That was Johnny Berlin. Who would have thought he’d find the dice loaded against him in a peanut-sized town off a back road in northern California? Who would have thought he’d fall for a nice girl? And who would have thought he’d risk his life for her? Nobody…least of all Johnny Berlin himself.

BE MY VICTIM
Coral City, Slade County, Florida in 1956. By day, the tourist robbery is genteel… practiced by scrubbed and bowing clerks, merchants, and restauranteurs who wait all year to gouge and swindle out-of-town customers. But it’s at night that the real money is made… at tourist cabins, at cockfights, and at plush, private clubs where the only winner is the house and nobody seems to care. Nobody except Pop Seegar, who owns everything that makse money and ruins lives in Slade County. But now Bruce Kendall, a stubborn, ex-Navy man & local building contractor, is unwilling to play Seegar’s lucrative, rigged game of graft and corruption… and that is unacceptable to the mob boss. When an attempt murder Kendall goes explosively wrong, and Kendall goes on a rampage of retribution, Seegar finds a woman to lure Kendall to his doom and restore the natural order of vice and corruption once and for all…

AND BE MY LOVE
The blockbuster, million copy bestseller of 1951, a beloved Gold Medal classic, is finally back-in-print to enthral a new generation with it’s raw, powerful description of a passionate love affair that had no limits. She belonged to one man…a violent gangster…but she wanted another, a womanizing writer. So she seduces the writer and tricks him into a quickie Las Vegas wedding that puts them both in mortal danger.

DIE ON EASY STREET by James Howard

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The Fourth Steve Ashe Adventure

The ocean tide washed the body up on the beach. It was a woman’s nude body, without a face or a left hand. And when Steve Ashe discovered the remains of the once-beautiful redhead, he vowed to find her killer and hound him to the gallows. But to do it, Ashe has to tangle with a crooked private eye, an insanely jealous photographer, and a kill-crazy police chief…

“Steve Ashe is a badass!” The Paperback Warrior Site

I LIKE IT TOUGH by James Howard

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She Was Sweet as Sin…and Twice as Deadly

It’s 1955 in Neon City, USA. The vice syndicate’s slimy tentacles stretched everywhere through the corrupt city and only reporter Steve Ashe knows the dark story behind the multi-million dollar traffic in dope and white slavery. And because he knows…he’s a walking dead man.

The second book in the Steve Ashe series.

“This powerful story of a reporter destroying a vicious dope ring is raw and electric with suspense from beginning to end.” Real Magazine

“Steve Ashe is a badass!” The Paperback Warrior Site

FARE PREY By Laine Fisher

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He Stole a Ticket on a Train to Hell….

When Mike Gavin rolled the corpse in the Union Station, it was an act of desperation. For Mike hadn’t eaten in three days and the only remnant of human emotion he had left was hunger.

So when a few minutes later Mike stepped on a train in the dead man’s hat and coat, carrying his bag and using his ticket, he also stepped into the dead man’s world. At least for the duration of the trip, he would have to be the late Gerald Welsh.

Only after the dead man’s suitcase had been opened, did Mike realize what kind of a horrible person Gerald Welsh had been, but by then it was too late. The train was off for Denver and already the Grim Reaper was knocking at his compartment door. He’d stolen to live, but what he’d swiped was an appointment with death!

(“Laine Fisher” was a pseudonym for James Howard)

I’LL GET YOU YET by James Howard

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“An awesome opening installment to the Steve Ashe series. There are plenty of outstanding action set pieces. This one is a balls-out, hardboiled, action paperback. It’s really something special.”
The Paperback Warrior

It’s winter, 1954. Steve Ashe is hitching a ride to Omaha in a big rig driven by his friend Scotty when they are sideswiped on a snowy highway by a car that’s spinning out-of-control. The men rush over to the car and are shocked to discover the driver is a badly-beaten woman… who turns out to be Vicki, Steve’s old childhood crush. She’s on the run from Mario Carazzi, a mobster who forced her and her teenage sister Gina into drug addiction and sex slavery. Now Steve is determined to get revenge for Vicki’s beating, rescue Gina, and take down the ring… one man against the entire midwest mob. And he just happens to be the one badass who can do it.

“A gripping, realistic suspense novel that crackles with tension, toughness, and the tragedy of girls who run afoul of the vice syndicate.”
Real Magazine

BLOW OUT MY TORCH by James Howard

Blow Out My Torch by James Howard

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Her Love Nest Was a Murder Trap

It’s 1956 in hopelessly corrupt Neon City, USA. Reporter Steve Ashe investigates when a cop-friend of his is thrown off the force on trumped-up charges. His relentless quest for the truth pits him against the mob… and makes him the target of ruthless killers… one of whom may just be the beautiful woman in his bed.

“Steve Ashe is a badass.”
The Paperback Warrior

“A hard-hitting story of reporter Steve Ashe’s one-man clean-up campaign in a corrupt city.”
Real Magazine