Wild Pursuit by Bill Lauren (Merit Books, 1961)
I got this book in an eBay lot; it was falling apart and in bad shape and I’d never heard of the author, but it looked interesting and it was a Merit/Camerarts title so I gave it a try, as a “wild” titled novel.
Who is Bill Lauren? Real name or pen name? Who knows. But he did a number of titles for Merit.
Wild Pursuit wastes no time and jumps right into the action from the first paragraph:
The blonde was split from neckline to waist and a bare, trembling breast poked out at me. She wasn’t trying to cover it because hshe had her hands full wih the torn top of her capri pants.
Her eyes were wide with pleading. “Help me! Please, help me!” (p. 5)
The blonde is Eddi, short for Edwina, on the run from goons trying to kill her. She’s a cigarette girl at a club owned by the local Sndiacte boss, who is a choots with the town’s sheriff — both are planning to murder a politician getting in their way. She overheard their planning it and need to shut her up. So she’s on the run — and ran into the cabin of Brigham Galt, the narrator, a building contractor in the town of Marklyn (state unknown).
She’s hot, she’s in danger, and Galt has been separated from his wife for six weeks, after he caught her in bed with another man — so why not help her? Even with the goons shooting at them, and then kidnapping his secretary and raping her, threatening to kill her if he doesn’t give up Eddi.
But since he’s had great sex with Eddi only hours after she came running into his cabin for help, he’s got feelings for her…
But there’s still his estranged wife, whom he has make-up sex with the next morning after being with Eddi…ah, the sex lives of sleaze book heroes!
It had all the usual sterotypical tough hero, gun-toting hoods, bad cops, and over-sexed dames, the elements that make for good men’s fiction of the 1960s, or even now. This is no work of art by any long shot, but like Jerry M. Goff’s and most Novel/Merit titles, a fast-paced, tough-guy good read. I’m interested in reading others by Bill Lauren.