The Best Pulp Noir Fiction Volume Two: 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

One For The Road by Robert Dietrich * The Captive by Norman Daniels * Self-Made Widow by Philip Race * The Chinese Keyhole by Richard Himmel

ONE FOR THE ROAD
It’s 1954. The man’s name is Larry Roberts. His home is the highway, working the rich widow racket from Miami to L.A. Now he gets into bed with a lusty young socialite who is plotting her own deadly twist on double indemnity…and the sucker this time might just be him.

THE CAPTIVE
World War II veteran Jeff Castle is living a quiet life as a big game hunter in Africa…until he’s called to the bedside of his dying, estranged grandfather in New York, where he learns he’s the sole heir to the man’s business: sixty hotels throughout the state. Castle barely has a chance to absorb the news when he’s seduced by a woman… who is murdered shortly after he leaves her bed. Now, instead of tracking game, he’s hunting for the woman’s killer in the concrete jungle. But the hunter is also the hunted, being stalked by vicous prey — the NY mob, who want to take the empire that he’s inherited, which isn’t what it seems.

SELF-MADE WIDOW
Johnny Babcock was the name on the life insurance policy for $100,000. Johnny Babcock was the name on all the identification found on the crumpled, burnt body found at the body of a ravine. Johnny Babcock’s grieving widwow gratefully accepted the cashier’s check from the insurance company. And all the while, Johnny Babcock lived on Skid Row, doubled-crossed by the wife he loved…and facing murder charges if he ever revealed his true identify. Is there a way out for Johnny that doesn’t put him in the grave…or behind bars?

THE CHINESE KEYHOLE
Ex-spy-turned-lawyer Johnny Maguire hadn’t visited Chinatown in a long time, and now he wasn’t there for the tourist attactions. Not that the Chinese Keyhole didn’t have plenty to offer–if you liked that sort of thin. Behind its pseudo-Oriental facade, the strip-club provided unusual entertainment for its off-beat clientele…and the performers were weirder than those who paid to watch them. Somewhere amongst the lust, sadism, and brutality there was the key to a Communist spy ring. And Johnny had to find it…through a mess of murder, mayhem, lust, and sadism he smashed his way to the Chinese Keyhole, where hell was set to music.

THE CAPTIVE by Norman Daniels

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“An engaging, thoroughly enjoyable literary work. Daniels pulls no punches – this is a violent crime yarn from cover-to-cover.” The Paperback Warrior

World War II veteran Jeff Castle is living a quiet life as a big game hunter in Africa…until he’s called to the bedside of his dying, estranged grandfather in New York, where he learns he’s the sole heir to the man’s business: sixty hotels throughout the state. Castle barely has a chance to absorb the news when he’s seduced by a woman… who is murdered shortly after he leaves her bed. Now, instead of tracking game, he’s hunting for the woman’s killer in the concrete jungle. But the hunter is also the hunted, being stalked by vicous prey — the NY mob, who want to take the empire that he’s inherited, which isn’t what it seems.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

American author Norman Daniels (real name Norman Danberg, 1905-1995) is best known for re-introducing pulp hero Black Bat in 1939. Daniels authored a number of short stories featuring the character for Black Book Detective. Arguably, Black Bat was the catalyst for DC Comics’ iconic Batman. Along with Black Bat, Daniels contributed stories for dozens of pulp magazines like Shadow, Gangster Stories, Thrilling Publications and All Detective. The author’s post-pulp career was immensely successful as Daniels utilized a number of pseudonyms to write crime-noir and adventure paperbacks for a variety of publishers. He also contributed scripts to the TV series Zane Grey Theater, General Electric Theater, Colt. 45, Sugarfoot and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. (Biography courtesy of The Paperback Warrior site)