Monday, November 19, 2012

The Vengeful Virgin, by Gil Brewer

(hb; 1958, 2007: republished by Hard Case Crime.  Cover artist: Gregory Manchess)

From the back cover:

"Her wealthy stepfather was dying - but not quickly enough.

"What beautiful 18-year-old would want to spend her life taking care of an invalid?  Not Shirley Angela.  But that's the life she was trapped in - until she met Jack.

"Now Shirley and Jack have a plan to put the old man out of his misery and walk away with a suitcase full of cash.  But there's nothing like money to come between lovers - money, and other women."


Hot-blooded (non-explicit) sex and violence, sharp dialogue, taut writing, noircentric characters and effective plot-twistiness make this one of the best noir novels I've ever read.  The unrelenting, end-of-chapters cliffhanger heat of the characters and their doomed-from-the-git-go actions is addictive.

Worth owning, this.

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