Illicit Affair – Mark Ryan aka Robert Silverberg (Bedside Book #980, 1961)
The fifth and last of Silverberg’s Mark Ryan-pen named books for Bedside, it was also the last of the Bedsides from Valient Publications before switching over to William Hambling’s company, which started with a Silverberg/Don Elliott, Woman Chaser, as Bedtime Books #1201.
Illicit Affair and Other Stories of Flaming Passion and Violent Death is an uneven collection of short fiction from the pulps — some are erotica from lower-tier men’s magazines, some are Manhunt-style crime fictions.
The title story — and probably the best one of the lot — is about a suburban guy who gets blackmailed by the sexy babysitter: pay up or the wife sees the photos of them in the embrace of sinful lust! he finds out that she’s been doing the same to friends of his she babysits for, so the men turn the table on her.
“Love Hungry Diving Girls” is an odd story about Japanese female pearl divers. “Doublecrosser’s Daughter” is a nifty Manhunt or Trapped story (Silverberg doesn’t list previous publications) is told by a guy in a mob crew out to kidnap and rape the daughter of a man mrked by the mob, but the narrator falls for her, kills his crew for her, thinking they will run away together and…well, seems the innocent girl is not so naive after all. Predictable, but a well-written, well-plotted fun tale.
“See You in Hell” is about a man seeing revenge on his cheating wife, but things don’t work out — another crime pulp-type story. “Isle of Exiled Women” and “The Girl in the Moon” are somewhat SF-fantasy-ish, but weren’t so good. “The Sunbather” is a nice little depraved story that Silverberg later expanded into a novel, Lust Demon, which I will get to soon.
The book ends with another Manhunt-type story, “Psycho Killer.”
The book is okay, good for a read if you can locate a copy.