THE BEST PULP NOIR FICTION VOLUME SEVEN: Four Hardboiled Novels

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

THE MURDER SPECIALIST by Bud Clifton * TWO DEATHS MUST DIE by Richard Himmel * THE CHEAT by Robert Dietrich * LET HIM GO HANG by Bud Clifton

THE MURDER SPECIALIST by Bud Clifton
Hal Williams is a specialist with one particular talent to sell: contract murders that appear to be accidents. He’s a professional who does his job with cool, calm, and calculated detachment…or so it seems. It’s all part of a long-term plan for ultimate revenge. But just when everything is coming together…he meets Unne, a mobster’s coldly sensual mistress, a kindred spirit with a dark, devastating secret of her own…and everything changes.

“A tight, lean, nasty little masterpiece of noir.. How is it possible a book this good, this timeless in its cruel brilliance, was unknown and out-of-print for so long? I loved it.” Lee Goldberg, #1 New York Times bestselling author

TWO DEATHS MUST DIE by Richard Himmel
A big movie star’s dark and sordid past in a stag movie comes back to haunt her — it’s up to two-fisted lawyer Johnny Maguire to keep it buried, without getting buried himself.

“Richard Himmel was an outstanding writer… likely to please readers of well-written hardboiled crime who are also comfortable with some romance and human drama in their stories.” The Paperback Warrior

THE CHEAT by Robert Dietrich
Robert Webster goes to Paris to find himself, and his creative soul, after doing hack-work as a Hollywood screenwriter. He finds Hildreath instead — rich, beautiful, dissolute, who fled to France to satisfy deep, carnal desires no American woman would dare admit to feeling. They begin an affair that’s comfortable and warm… until he makes a shocking discovery that reveals her raw, naked lust. There’s no love in what she’s doing. It’s coarse and cruel and undeniable…and it will shatter their lives.

“Dietrich knows his stuff and handles it well,” The Boston Globe

LET HIM GO HANG by Bud Clifton
An innocent man is tried for murder… and the real killer is on the jury.
“A stylistic virtuoso, matching on the typewriter the lightning flashes of such musical masters as Paganini on the violin,” The Chicago Tribune

THE COMPLETE RICHARD HIMMEL – All 12 Novels

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ALL 12 NOVELS by Richard Himmel, one of the greatest hard-boiled crime writers of the “Gold Medal” era, in one volume.

Throughout the 1950s, Richard worked by day as an interior designer and at night as a successful writer of paperback original crime novels. His first book, I’ll Find You was a massive, multi-million copy bestseller that almost single-handedly put Fawcett Crest’s famed “Gold Medal Paperbacks” on the literary map. He followed that book with four sequels in the “Johnny Maguire” series and four stand-alone novels.

I’ll Find You (Johnny Maguire #1) 1950
The Shame aka Soul of Passion & Strange Desires ) 1950
The Chinese Keyhole (Johnny Maguire #2) 1951
I Have Gloria Kirby (Johnny Maguire #3) 1951
The Sharp Edge 1952
Beyond Desire 1952
Two Deaths Must Die (Johnny Maguire #4) 1954
Cry of the Flesh 1955
The Rich and the Damned (Johnny Maguire #5) 1958

At this point, his career as an interior designer was exploding, making him a national (and soon international sensation), so he took almost 20 years away from the typewriter, before returning to print with a trio of big, sexy, global spy thrillers in 1977.

The 23rd Web 1977
Lions at Night 1979
Echo Chambers 1982

SPY GAMES 3: FOUR FULL NOVELS

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Four espionage thrillers by three masters of the genre on one action-packed volume

LIONS AT NIGHT * A TALENT FOR KILLING * CRY OF THE FLESH * BRUTE MADNESS

LIONS AT NIGHT by Richard Himmel
An undercover CIA agent living as a centerfold model and all-around hustler is the key player a deadly, global game of intrique and death where the players include a sexually-ravenous TV newswoman, a powerful Mafia don, and foreign assassins…. but who are actually the hunters and who are the prey for the lions at night?

“A taut thriller that builds to a blazing climax.” Publishers Weekly

A TALENT FOR KILLING by Ralph Dennis
Kane was a top CIA assassin until he suffered traumatic physical and psychological injuries in a mission that went horribly wrong. The Agency wiped his memory, gave him a new identity, and retired him to a life of mundane, anonymous domesticity. But his training, and his talent for killing, came back with a vengeance. He created a new life for himself as a killer-for-hire, righting wrongs for people who can’t find peace or justice any other way. He doesn’t know that his memories are fiction, or that he is always being watched, or that he’s been targeted for death by a rogue faction within the Agency.

“A breathless, lean noir thriller. Every line is razor sharp and without an ounce of fat. Jason Bourne fans will find a lot to like.” Publishers Weekly

CRY OF THE FLESH by Richard Himmel
Lazy playboy & lounge singer Buster Clayton, living in Italy on his ability to seduce wealthy women, is strong-armed by his brother, famous journalist Maxwell Payton, to help the daughter of a Russian diplomat defect with a cache of secret documents that will make an explosive story… and spark an international incident. But all is not what it seems, and soon Buster and the woman, a seductive and deadly cipher herself, are fleeing through Europe, running a gamut of sex, lies, betrayals, and certain death.

“A famous foreign correspondent with a story to get and a secret to hide, a fanatical girl communist who will stop at nothing to serve her cause, and a night club performer who gets way out of his depth add up to plenty of excitement,” Oakland Tribune

BRUTE MADNESS by Ledru Baker, Jr.
Mark Mitchell is a playboy atomic rocket scientist who marries the wrong woman…and is betrayed in the worst possible way. He is quickly arrested, convicted of treason, and sentenced to life in prison. But that’s only the beginning of his nightmare in this lightning-fast, insanely unpredictable, brutal Cold War noir thriller. 

THE BEST PULP NOIR FICTION VOLUME SIX: 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 HOODS TAKE OVER by Ovid Demaris * BEYOND DESIRE by Richard Himmel * FRISCO FLAT by Stuart James * BRUTE MADNESS by Ledru Baker, Jr.

THE HOODS TAKE OVER
The East Coast mob has moved to Los Angeles and nobody seems willing to stand up to their campaign of terror. But that changes when a young teacher out shopping for groceries witnesses a brutal mob murder, identifies the killers for the police, and is immediately targeted for death. It’s one ordinary man with integrity up against mobsters without a soul. He doesn’t stand a chance… or does he? This book was adapted into the 1958 movie Gang War starring Charles Bronson.

“This is the kind of novel the term ‘Noir’ was coined for..” NB Magazine UK

BEYOND DESIRE
Clarissa…in her arms, Peter achieved manhood. She taught him that to love too many women was to love none at all. He was obsessed with her, drugged by her warmth and willingness. By now, he was ready to kill himself and her if she refused him…

“Decidedly off-beat but nonetheless absorbing. Himmel makes a most unusual story convincing. He should rake’em in.” Pensacola News-Journal

FRISCO FLAT
When his father is beaten-to-death, Korean War vet and ex-prize fighter Frankie Cargo returns to his home in the small, northern California waterfront town of Frisco Flat. Cargo has inherited his father’s fishing boat business and trouble from Sam Barlow, the vicious local cannery owner who rules the town with fear…and with the iron fist of the psychopathic and corrupt Sheriff. If that wasn’t bad enough, Barlow gets involved with the Sheriff’s lover, the voluptuous Tosca Sorrento, who wants more than any man can give. But Barlow won’t be pushed…and never backs down from a fight.

“Pretty darned good. Frisco Flat moves along well. The book is a little better written, a little more literary in places, than many of the hard-boiled novels from that era,” James Reasoner, author of Texas Wind

BRUTE MADNESS
A wild, hard-boiled, pulp novel that will leave you breathless. Once the action starts, it doesn’t let up. Mark Mitchell is a playboy atomic rocket scientist who marries the wrong woman…and is betrayed in the worst possible way. He is quickly arrested, convicted of treason, and sentenced to life in prison. But that’s only the beginning of his nightmare in this lightning-fast, insanely unpredictable, brutal Cold War noir thriller. 

SPY GAMES 2 : Four Full Novels

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Four critically acclaimed novels of international espionage, action and terror…all in one volume.

THE SPY IN A BOX * THE CHINESE KEYHOLE * ECHO CHAMBERS * THE 23RD WEB

THE SPY IN A BOX by Ralph Dennis
Will Hall is a CIA agent in a South American country on the brink of Civil War. But when the moderate, rebel leader that Hall covertly supported is assassinated, the spy resigns and retreats to a cabin in the North Carolina woods. His quiet, civilian life is shattered when an unknown adversary frames him for revealing Agency secrets, putting a kill-on-sight target on his back. Hall runs in a global chase to evade death, clear his name, and free himself from the flawless “box job” that could become his coffin.

“A breathless, lean noir thriller. Every line is razor sharp. Jason Bourne fans will find a lot to like.” Publishers Weekly

THE CHINESE KEYHOLE by Richard Himmel
It’s the 1950s, deep in the winter of the cold war. 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.

“Himmel was a great writer who knew how to keep a story moving. The Chinese Keyhole is sexy and exciting domestic spy fiction,” Paperback Warrior

ECHO CHAMBERS by Richard Himmel
It’s 1982. Angus MacGlendon is an American business tycoon targeted by the Chinese as a key player in their secret plot to become a global industrial and economic superpower…and they will do whatever it takes, from blackmail to violence, to get him to cooperate. He soon becomes a target of the CIA, KGB and spies from Taiwan. To survive, he must play a complicated game of international intrigue and terror with the fate of the world in the balance…

“An exciting novel of international intrigue and terror.” Cincinnati Enquirer

THE 23rd WEB by Richard Himmel
A cold-blooded Arab sheik and his army of psychopathic terrorists use blackmail, kidnapping and murder to force hundreds of rich Amercan Jews to stop giving money to Israel, part of a complex effort to economically cripple the Jewish nation. One man, Justice department attorney Peter Frankel, leads the fight against the insidious plot, drawing him into an inescapable web of twisted sex and brutal violence.

“Slick…there is action, conspiracy, plenty of sex. Himmel knows how to keep everything at a boil. He’s a good storyteller in the Arthur Hailey style. There is so much action that the reader is swept along. It’s like a B-movie of international intrigue. This book will amuse and entertain you.” The New York Times

LIONS AT NIGHT by Richard Himmel

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A heart-racing thriller, packed with copious sex, international intrique, and unrelenting suspense

An undercover CIA agent living as a centerfold model and all-around hustler is the key player a deadly, global game of intrique and death where the players include a sexually-ravenous TV newswoman, a powerful Mafia don, and foreign assassins…. but who are actually the hunters and who are the prey for the lions at night?

“A taut thriller that builds to a blazing climax.” Publishers Weekly

CRY OF THE FLESH by Richard Himmel

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A nightclub singer becomes an unwilling spy in a high-stakes, cold war plot in Richard Himmel’s action-packed, espionage classic, back in print for the first time in over 60 years.

Ne’er-do-well playboy & lounge singer Buster Clayton, living in Italy on his ability to seduce wealthy women, is strong-armed by his brother, famous journalist Maxwell Payton, to help the daughter of a Russian diplomat defect with a cache of secret documents that will make an explosive story… and spark an international incident. But all is not what it seems, and soon Buster and the woman, a seductive and deadly cipher herself, are fleeing through Europe, running a gamut of sex, lies, betrayals, and certain death.

“A famous foreign correspondent with a story to get and a secret to hide, a fanatical girl communist who will stop at nothing to serve her cause, and a night club performer who gets way out of his depth add up to plenty of excitement,” Oakland Tribune

“Richard Himmel was an outstanding writer… likely to please readers of well-written hardboiled crime who are also comfortable with some romance and human drama in their stories.” The Paperback Warrior

ECHO CHAMBERS by Richard Himmel

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“Intrigue to satisfy the most demanding reader.” Booklist

ECHO CHAMBERS is back… Richard Himmel’s eerily prescient thriller that foretold today’s rise of China, and the power they would exert over the world. What was once fiction has become a terrifying reality.

It’s 1982. Angus MacGlendon is an American business tycoon targeted by the Chinese as a key player in their secret plot to become a global industrial and economic superpower…and they will do whatever it takes, from blackmail to violence, to get him to cooperate. He soon becomes a target of the CIA, KGB and spies from Taiwan. To survive, he must play a complicated game of international intrigue and terror with the fate of the world in the balance…

“An exciting novel of international intrigue and terror.” Cincinnati Enquirer

“A novel of intrigue and espionage…(the characters) are leathered, unquenchable, sexually cruel people who apply their erotic meanness to the spy games they play… their passion is always entwined with the fates of whole nations. International affairs seem to be synchronized with the protagonists’ abilities to achieve simultaneous orgasm. High-level espionage becomes an attempt to block such a climax. CIA-tus interrutus , if you will. The action is there, the good guys are defined, skulls and gullets are endangered at every turn. The fate of the world hangs by a thread.” Chicago Tribune

THE 23RD WEB by Richard Himmel

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“Slick…there is action, conspiracy, plenty of sex. Himmel knows how to keep everything at a boil. He’s a good storyteller in the Arthur Hailey style. There is so much action that the reader is swept along. It’s like a B-movie of international intrigue. This book will amuse and entertain you.” The New York Times

A cold-blooded Arab sheik and his army of psychopathic terrorists use blackmail, kidnapping and murder to force hundreds of rich Amercan Jews to stop giving money to Israel, part of a complex effort to economically cripple the Jewish nation. One man, Justice department attorney Peter Frankel, leads the fight against the insidious plot, drawing him into an inescapable web of twisted sex and brutal violence.

“Kinky, muscular and menacing,” Vogue Magazine

“The simplicity of Himmel’s plot is what makes his book fascinating. ..and it all seems very plausible. The characters are believable (with) large doses of sex sprinkled liberally throughout.” Berkeley Gazette

“Notable for its ingenuity…the conflict is entertaining as the terrorists and American supporters of Israel face each other in a battle of nerves and wills.”South Bend Tribute

“A surprising climax.” Tampa Tribune

“The pace of the action is steady and the wind-up is satisfying.” Publishers Weekly